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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Letupan di Lapangan Terbang Domodedovo mengorbankan 31 orang

MOSCOW 24 Jan. - Satu letupan menggegarkan Lapangan Terbang Domodedovo yang sesak dengan penumpang hari ini dan mengorbankan 31 orang manakala 130 lagi cedera.

Presiden Dmitry Medvedev berkata, berdasarkan siasatan awal letupan di balai ketibaan lapangan terbang itu kira-kira pukul 1.32 petang dipercayai berpunca daripada serangan pengganas.

Polis mengambil langkah berhati-hati dan memperketatkan kawalan di sistem laluan bawah tanah yang merupakan sasaran pengganas sebelum ini.

Salah seorang penumpang British Airways, Mark Green berkata, dia yang baru tiba di lapangan terbang itu mendengar satu letupan kuat ketika sedang keluar dari bangunan itu.

"Kami mendengar loceng amaran selepas bunyi letupan itu dan orang ramai berlari keluar daripada lapangan terbang," ujarnya.

Tambahnya, beribu-ribu orang berada di dalam terminal tersebut ketika letupan itu berlaku.

Berikutan kejadian itu, prosedur kawalan keselamatan di lapangan terbang yang dikatakan paling canggih di sini dipersoalkan.

Pada 2004, dua pengebom berani mati berjaya menaiki kapal terbang dengan membeli tiket secara haram dan meletupkannya menyebabkan 90 orang terkorban.

Dibina pada 1964, Domodedovo terletak 42 kilometer arah tenggara bandar Moscow dan merupakan antara tiga lapangan terbang terbesar di sini. - AP

Monday, January 24, 2011

MAS buka pusat simulasi baharu di Glenmarie

KUALA LUMPUR, 24 Jan. - Malaysia Airlines (MAS) bersama-sama dengan CAE, peneraju di dalam penyediaan teknologi simulasi dan permodelan serta penyelesaian latihan bersepadu, telah membuka pusat latihan simulasi B738 yang baharu di Glenmarie, Subang.

Pusat itu, yang diselenggara dan dikendalikan oleh CAE, menyediakan peralatan simulator penerbangan penuh (FFS) CAE 7000 Series Boeing 737-800 Level D (FFS) dan Jurulatih Prosedur Bersepadu (IPT) CAE Simfinity Boeing 737-800 yang diperlukan dari CAE pada November 2009.

“Simulator penerbangan canggih itu adalah perlu bagi keselamatan dan keefisienan operasi syarikat penerbangan di seluruh dunia,” kata Presiden Kumpulan Produk Simulasi Awam, latihan dan Perkhidmatan Jeff Roberts semasa menyampaikan ucapan pembukaannya. - Bernama

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Azizi Ali, captain of his domain (Part 3)

Publisher and author: Ali's company publishes various types of self-help books. Personally, Ali has written more than 30 books. He aptly advises, "Read as many books as you can about money matters. You will lead richer and happier life."

How many books have you written?

More than 30. They are all about money. Four on property investment – ‘How to become property millionaire’, ‘How to become millionaire landlord’, ‘Winning at property auctions’ and ‘How to pay off your house loan within five years.’ I also publish books by other authors. There’s one about ‘40 questions you want to ask your lawyer about property investment’, another about ‘millionaire real estate guide for beginners’ and also one about property auction.

When do you plan to launch your next book?

No target date yet. It never ends because the moment I finish one book, I start on another (laughs). Some people play golf. Some fish. Some scuba dive. I write. I am happy doing it. I can do it for days on end. It’s not work for me. We are always on the lookout for authors. It doesn’t have to be about money. I publish books on health, parenting, cats, and so on.

Any additional advice to share with our readers?

Read as many books as you can about money matters. You will lead richer and happier life. You need to learn and read because the world is constantly changing. Many of people are innocent and they don’t know what hit them.

Azizi Ali runs property seminars in Malaysia. For more information on his upcoming seminars, books or money matters, call 03-7880 1051 or visit

Read more interviews with interesting personalities:

Azizi Ali, captain of his domain (Part 2)

What if these owners refinance to invest because they don’t have enough cash?
In that case, they could refinance but they have to be careful with the loan’s terms.

Do elaborate on “loan terms”.
This is how it should be. If the environment is of low interest rate with rising property prices, then take as much loan as you can. This is because you can multiply your net worth very fast, assuming that you can pay every month. That formula of taking as much loan as you can and buying as many as you can was correct one or two years ago. The environment has changed and will continue to do so. Interest rates have increased. There’s the LTV (loan-to-value) ratio of 70% for third property onwards. There are more things to come, some of which you and I have never seen or faced before.

Anybody with monster mortgages will be in serious pain. So back to your question of “If you have almost paid off but do not have the capital to buy other properties, should he/she refinance?”. The answer is yes, but don’t take too much and more importantly cap the interest rate. Don’t use the current fluctuating rate, based on BLR (base lending rate). It won’t be low forever. Just to share, I have one RM1.5 million loan. The rise of 75 basis points in 2010 has caused my payments to rise by RM500. This is only 75 basis points. Can you imagine if the interest rates rise by 2 or 3%? I also will feel the pain.

Do you go for residential or commercial properties?
For me, it has been residential all the while − both condos and landed. I know that the big money is in commercial properties – higher rentals and capital gains. You need to have some knowledge of the commercial market because if you choose incorrectly, it could be empty for years. So you must really do your homework. But where there is danger, there are also opportunities. Now, I am looking at below market value properties. There are a lot of options now.

"I do not only teach people on how to be rich. I teach people how to get rich, how to live rich, how to stay rich and how to die rich," says Ali.

When did you start investing in auction properties?
Before that, I was buying from developers. Now, my staff cuts and highlights the interesting auction properties. I can’t take them all. The quantity has increased significantly.

Are these auction properties in good areas?
Having said that, 95% are not interesting to me. But lately, the quality in good areas has also increased. In fact, I don’t even do this full time. I only spend 10 minutes every morning to look at it and go for the interesting ones. I share some with my clients.

Do you concentrate in certain residential areas?
I go for PJ. It saves me a lot of work because I am familiar with the area, the supply and demand, and the prices.

Do you do no-money-down strategies?
Yes, the whole concept is find one below market.

Are no-money-down strategies very difficult to apply with the LTV ratio of 70%?
Yes, it is hard, but it can be done. I think the LTV of 70% is good for most people. Otherwise, they might end up taking too much loans, which they can afford now but as situation changes, they might not be able to afford it. So this might save their life.

What are the common myths about auction properties?
Despite the quantity of auction properties, I would say that 90% are not appropriate for investors. One, incorrect locations. Two, nature of auctions – the first auction might be market value, therefore it is not appropriate.

For auctions, you must do homework. Actually, in all investments you must do your homework. Whenever there are opportunities to make lots of money, it also comes with opportunities to lose a lot of money, like gold. The price of gold is rising. I put much of my money into gold in the last couple of years, which I am happy about. At the same time, gold is also full of traps. If you buy the incorrect form of gold, you may not benefit even if the price is rising.

What do you mean by “incorrect form of gold”?
Jewellery. Is it gold? Yes it is. When you buy from shops, you pay more to cover for the workmanship and profit. In that case, you already overpay, already in the negative. When you sell back to the shop, you cannot sell at the same price you bought. At best, they will buy it back at market value. They will usually buy at market value, minus 25%. That’s two negatives. Three, you can only sell back to the same shop you buy from. Fourth, if you do not have the receipt, they won’t take it back and most people don’t know where they kept the receipt. Fifth, when you go back to the shop, you cannot get cash, but instead you can trade it in for another piece of jewellery. So, five negatives. From an investment point of view, it is useless. So despite the rising price of gold, you may not benefit from it. That’s one of the traps. To know more, you can read my book – Get Into Gold.

Do you conduct a lot of seminars?
About one in every three months.

What are your seminars about?
All about money − property investments, investing in gold and information marketing.

Are they one-day seminars?
Yes, one day. I will cover the critical success factors for property investments. There are a lot of things to talk about properties. What you want to know is the critical success factors. One of them is buying below market value. Then you have to know the three elements of property investment which is physical, financial, and legal rights and obligations.

Financing is extremely important. Most landlords don’t make money from investments. So I share on how they can reduce these risks significantly. I share on how to reduce work, automate processes and system of doing this. An average investor takes loans that amount to a few hundred thousand, so they cannot afford to get it wrong. What more if the loans are in the millions. I am not only a businessman. I am also a qualified financial planner. So I look from both sides. I feel concerned for my fellow Malaysians when they lose their houses. When they search for mortgages, they only look at one thing, the lowest interest rate at that point in time.

What I do now is the personal coaching programme.

What are the terms and conditions that borrowers should take note of?
Flexibility of loan.

Are you referring to types of loans?
No, beyond that. The actual terms and conditions of the individual loan. For example, most banks have a lock-in period. That’s fine, but on top of that, some loans don’t allow you to pay extra. For some, you can pay more, but the extra payment doesn’t reduce the principal amount, which defeats the purpose. Some of them allow you to pay extra, but it must be in multiples of RM1,000, for example. I am not saying that interest rate is not important. But that’s just one of the criteria.

How much is the personal coaching programme?
The personal coaching programme is RM590 per month. When you sign up, you have to pay for five months in advance. After they sign up and meet me personally, we have one tele-seminar (seminar via telephone) for one hour per month. I will talk about specific subjects, for example, auction, estate planning, investing in gold, and so on. It is a conference call where all members will call in and listen. From time to time, I will also invite industry experts to talk. It is just like a seminar but through the phone. This is my inner circle coaching programme. Members can choose to continue after five months if they want to.

For urgent matters, they can contact me. They also get a free book every month and every four months, we have a mastermind meeting, where the whole group comes together and meet here (Azizi Ali’s office in Kelana Jaya). I do not only teach people on how to be rich. I teach people how to get rich, how to live rich, how to stay rich and how to die rich.

Most of the information that I share, I am doing it myself. So I know that it brings results. For example, investing in gold, I did the research and then I share. It is not just theory.

Azizi Ali, captain of his domain (Part 1)

Business savvy: Although Azizi Ali is largely known as a property coach and investor, he is also a pilot, publisher, author and qualified financial planner.

Azizi Ali, 48, is as versatile as it gets. A pilot, publisher, property investor and coach, author, qualified financial planner – or to put it succinctly an all-round entrepreneur. A voracious reader (he reads three books in a week!), unsurprisingly Ali credits his success to his healthy appetite for knowledge. He quips, “The more books on money matters that you read, the wealthier you will be. This is not just a tagline. It is the truth. I wish somebody had told me that 30 years ago!”

Most of us would’ve heard of Confucius’s quote, Choose a job you love and you will never have to work for a day in your life. Ali is a fine example of “living” that advise. His five-figure income is derived from his passion. As he puts it, he does not have to work but finds no reason to retire from doing what he loves. He says, “I only do things I like in my life. I like to fly. I like to write. I like to speak. I like business.” chats with the high-flying Ali about his passion for money matters, his successes and a music business that cost him RM100,000.

Tell us about yourself. How did you start in property investment?
When I started my career, despite being hardworking, I only made little money. I did not have any financial knowledge and was broke most of the time. This went on for about four years. At that time, I was about 20 or 21 years old. I started my career very young. I am a pilot by profession.

Are you still a pilot today?
Yes. After a while, I wondered if I will be living hand-to-mouth until retirement. I wondered what was wrong with me. Even my colleagues then, even if they were older and married, and making the same amount as me, they were doing okay but I was broke. So something is wrong. I realised what was wrong was my knowledge of financial matters, which was practically non-existent. So I started educating myself on financial matters. The intention was not to become a millionaire, but so that I would not be broke again. This was in 1985, where there were not as many books on money matters. So to educate myself, I did what most people would do. I asked people who I thought were experts at the time. They gave advice but they were not the real experts. Though their advice was not all wrong, but it was incomplete.

As I educated myself, I began to have some money. I wasn’t broke anymore, which was great. I read more books and asked more people. But after a while, I realised that some of the advice given was opposite of what the books said. After a while, I leaned more on books. I was repeating the formula of reading more books and I knew it was working and have enough money for investments. So that’s why I tell people today, the more books on money matters you read, the wealthier you will be. This is not just a tagline. It is the truth. I wish somebody had told me that 30 years ago. I would be a lot richer.

The reality is that much of the information out there is biased. For example, insurance. Who do you ask information from? Probably insurance agents. That’s why the information is biased. So people don’t make as good a decision as it could be. That’s why you have to get different points of view.

I started investing when I was about 25 or 26 years old. Like most people, the first place was stock market. I started reading books on stocks which helped a little. Like most people, I made a little money, and lost a little money. I did a lot of work. Most people rely on tips. All in all, I suppose that I did not make money from the stock market. After a while, I started investing in properties, and then business.

My first business was a music shop, selling cassettes and CDs, in 1990. In my eagerness to become an entrepreneur, I did research, but too little. In the end, after three or four years I lost over RM100,000. Now I can laugh about it. At that time, it wasn’t funny (laughs).

Why did your music business fail to take off?
Actually, if I had done proper research, I would not open the shop. I was blinded by the light of business, and was so eager that I jumped into it. There were a lot of things that I didn’t know about before I started. The margins were very low, less than 30% − which means that I had to sell a lot to pay the rent. Plus, cassettes are so small and hence, easily stolen.

What did you do after that?
The good thing is that even though the business did not work, my personal finance was better.

You were doing other things at the same time?
Yes, just like now. Although my name is synonymous with property, it is just a small part of my business. We have to put the money from business somewhere. One of it is properties. It is very good but it’s not the only game in town. At the same time, my main business is still business. Property is just a small part. See, a couple of years ago, I bought a house for RM800,000. When it was completed, I sold it for RM1.1 million. So the profit was RM300,000 and at that time, RPGT (real property gains tax) was still at 30%. All in all, my profit was RM200,000 after two years. I suppose that’s not too bad. But in business, I can make RM200,000 per month. So where should I be concentrating on? It’s a no-brainer.

How old were you then?
I started my publishing business when I was about 37 or 38 years old.

When did you start investing in properties?
I bought a house for own stay in 1997. Property investment for rentals started in 1995.

What was your first investment?
Condominium, which I rented out. At that time, my formula is for rental. I have sold most of it.

What’s your property portfolio now?
Not a lot. I sold most of it in 2010. The net worth is maybe six million.

Why did you sell most of your properties? Is it because of the “property bubble”?
Yes. I was reading a few books that explained about the US crash. Some reasons was the low interest rate, user-friendly mortgage, questionable borrowers and current owners refinancing. I shuddered when I read it. It is exactly like in Malaysia. That’s why I wrote the article, “The US property crash, could it happen here?”. For most current owners, even if their house is almost paid off, they refinance to get the money to invest in other properties

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ensure pilots meet the standards, says MAS

PETALING JAYA: There must be controls and proper tests in place to ensure those taking pilot courses meet the stringent standards required by airlines, said Malaysia Airlines operations director Capt Azharuddin Osman.

“The aviation industry in Malaysia is small with only two major airlines. If not properly controlled we will have an over supply of ‘under-qualified’ pilots,” he said, adding that MAS currently had 1,400 pilots.

On average, MAS recruited 100 cadets into its full scholarship cadet programme every year. For every 16 that apply, only one gets in.

Capt Azharuddin said pilots had to clock in at least 4,000 hours to captain a narrow body aircraft like a Boeing 737, which could take between eight to 10 years before progressing to a widebody aircraft.

“With the right qualifications, their chances of being employed by an airline would be better,” he said.

AirAsia had about 120 recruits last year.

Firefly’s marketing and communications head Angelina Corrina Fernandez said the frequency of the intake for new pilots depended on their network expansion.

Malaysian Flying Academy Sdn Bhd’s Lt Col (Rtd) Frank Chong Keng Lay acknowledged there was an oversupply of fresh graduate pilots, but said the situation would improve.

“Demand for pilots come in a cycle. For example, there was a shortage in 1995 as the enrolment was low.

“Recently, the intake is higher but the demand from airlines has not been growing at the same pace.”

Sometimes, it’s a long wait in the wings

PETALING JAYA: The road to becoming a commercial airline pilot is tough, as any cadet pilot will tell you.

Yet, many of the unemployed pilots are confident of landing a job, even if it means waiting for more than a year.

Mohd Zakaria, 24, said his batch of 24 students enrolled in 2008 but only one got a job.

“The industry needs a lot of pilots and finding a job also has to do with the timing of the intake.

“If you graduate and just missed the job intake, you would probably have to wait a year or so before the next window opens.

“But we are confident the industry will continue to grow.

“The risk is there and the competition is stiff.

“That is why we have to shine and stand out from the rest,” he said.

He added that he wanted to become a commercial pilot and did not want to join a flying club.

A 22-year-old cadet pilot said he waited almost a year before landing an interview with a local airline company with no guarantee of a job.

“I had about 20 students in my batch who graduated a year ago but only two or three landed jobs.

“It’s a long process, from the interview to qualifying as a passenger airline pilot,” he said.

Pilot, radio deejay and TV personality Johan Farid Khairuddin, 30, said the misperception among young graduates was that they would land a job with an airline immediately after graduating from flying school.

“Some think that you must fly with a major airline to become a pilot.

“But there are other jobs out there, such as flying instructors or being part of a flying tour.

“Some young pilots have told me they are not employed because they want a major airline opportunity,” he said.

Johan Farid, who has been flying since 2004, said there was a shortage of captains in the industry but a surplus of fresh cadet pilots and flying schools.

A 29-year-old pilot expressed surprise over the high number of flying schools in the country.

“The supply now definitely outweighs the demand.

“It was easier to get jobs several years ago when there were not many graduates or schools,” he said.

Flying dreams a pie in the sky

PETALING JAYA: Up to 500 licensed junior pilots in Malaysia have not been able to take to the skies in the last two years. There are just not enough jobs for them.

The number of flying schools have quadrupled from two about three years ago to eight now, resulting in an oversupply of fresh pilots vying for the limited number of positions as airline trainee pilots.

While the schools produced between 300 and 400 pilots annually in the last five years, their total intake for a year can reach up to 800, given that the course takes between 18 months and two years.

They would graduate with 200 hours under their belt, enabling them to only fly small aircrafts below 5,700kg.

But this does not qualify them to fly for an airline, which would require at least 1,500 flight hours and further intensive type training and stringent tests. Only then would they qualify for an Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL).

Last year, the country’s two major airlines – Malaysia Airlines Bhd and AirAsia – each hired only an average of 100 graduates each for their airline pilot training programme.

The Department of Civil Aviation’s (DCA) flight operations director Capt Datuk Yahaya Abdul Rahman said that about 70% of the 400 fresh graduate pilots would be employed by local airlines.

Capt Yahaya said that previously, most students were sponsored by airlines which would then recruit them upon graduation.

“These days, half of them are private students whose parents have paid for their course.”

He agreed that presently, the number of pilots graduating from flying schools was growing faster than the recruitments.

“From 2005 to 2009, a total of 1,513 locals and 110 foreigners graduated from the flying schools. The number has been increasing every year,” he said.

Back in the 1990s, Malaysia had only one flying school in Malacca, which produced 70 pilots annually.

Capt Yahaya, however, dispelled speculation that the oversupply was due to local airlines preferring to hire foreign pilots.

“Local airlines need to keep a small number of foreign captains with at least 15 to 20 years’ or 5,000 flying hours’ experience.

“Fresh pilots are usually taken in as co-pilots. They will later be upgraded to senior co-pilots and then captains when they have achieved the necessary flying hours.”

Given the rapid growth of the airline industry and continuous expansion of major local industry players, he believed that demand for pilots was on the rise.

He encouraged fresh pilots who are jobless to join DCA’s three-month instructor’s programme to keep their flying skills intact.

Graduate pilots hit hard by job shortage

Pahit tapi benar! huhuhuhuhuhu

ABOUT 500 pilots earned their wings and aimed for the sky – only to see their dreams come crashing. The reality is that there are few openings and the job shortage has hit them hard.

Most of these pilots, who graduated from the eight flying schools in the country, have been without a job for between one and two years.

Other developments:

> While the schools produced between 300 and 400 pilots annually in the last five years, their total intake for a year can reach up to 800.

> The biggest airline operator – Malaysia Airlines — only takes in about 100 pilots or so and its priority is its own trainee pilots.

> The problem of surplus pilots will be further compounded when more join the group this year.

> Don’t be idle, take courses to keep flying skills intact, Department of Civil Aviation flight operations director Capt Datuk Yahaya Abdul Rahman tells fresh pilots.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Incident: AirAsia A320 at Kuching on Jan 10th 2011, runway excursion on landing

An AirAsia Airbus A320-200, registration 9M-AHH performing flight AK-5218 from Kuala Lumpur to Kuching (Malaysia) with 124 passengers, landed on Kuching's runway 25 in heavy rain around 21:10L (13:10Z) but skidded to the right and came to a stand still off the paved surface between taxiways A1 and A2. No injuries occurred.
The runway was closed except for departures from runway 25 requiring aircraft to taxi onto the runway at taxiway A2 and backtrack 25. The available takeoff distance is currently reduced from 3840 to 2490 meters. The aircraft is expected to be moved off the runway area in the morning of Jan 11th.
AirAsia as well as other airlines operating into Kuching have cancelled all flights in the meantime.

Metars: WBGG 101500Z 32005G15KT 0800 +TSRA FEW015CB SCT020 BKN150 24/24 Q1007 NOSIG WBGG 101430Z 28006KT 1000 +TSRA FEW015CB SCT020 BKN150 24/24 Q1007 NOSIG WBGG 101400Z 36010KT 2000 +TSRA FEW015CB SCT020 BKN150 25/24 Q1007 TEMPO 1000 +TSRA WBGG 101330Z 36001KT 7000 -RA FEW015CB SCT020 BKN150 25/25 Q1007 RERA TEMPO 5000 RA WBGG 101300Z 27004KT 5000 RA SCT020 BKN150 25/25 Q1006 NOSIG WBGG 101230Z 27007KT 4000 RA FEW015CB SCT020 BKN150 25/24 Q1006 NOSIG WBGG 101200Z 32003KT 9999 FEW015CB SCT020 BKN150 26/24 Q1006 NOSIG WBGG 101130Z 30004KT 9999 FEW015CB SCT020 BKN150 26/24 Q1005 NOSIG WBGG 101100Z 31006KT 9999 SCT020 BKN150 26/24 Q1005 NOSIG Relevant NOTAM: D0035/11 - RWY 07/25 CLSD DUE TO DISABLE ACFT EXCEPT FOR DEPARTURE FROM RWY 25 (.) DECLARED DISTANCES:-


Pesawat AirAsia terbabas: KIA masih ditutup

KUALA LUMPUR, 11 Jan. - Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Kuching yang ditutup sejak malam tadi selepas pesawat AirAsia terbabas ketika mendarat, dijangka terus ditutup untuk semua penerbangan sehingga diberitahu kelak.

Malaysia Airports Berhad (MAB) memberitahu Bernama sebanyak 24 penerbangan terjejas setakat 11 pagi ini.

Hanya satu penerbangan dibenarkan berlepas dari lapangan terbang itu pada pukul 7.30 pagi ini iaitu MH2505 ke Kuala Lumpur, kata MAB.

Penerbangan lain yang terjejas termasuk 11 membabitkan AirAsia, lapan Penerbangan Malaysia dan lima penerbangan MASWings.

Penumpang yang berkenaan dinasihatkan agar menghubungi syarikat penerbangan masing-masing bagi mengetahui perkembangan lanjut mengenai perkara itu. - Bernama

Monday, January 10, 2011

Boeing 737 boleh mendarat

MELAKA 9 Jan. - Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Melaka (LTAM) Batu Berendam di sini mampu mengendalikan pendaratan pesawat jenis Boeing 737. Keupayaan pesawat Boeing 737-500 milik Riau Airlines yang membawa 124 penumpang membuat pendaratan sulung Jumaat lalu membuktikan kemampuan sebenar LTAM.

Ketua Menteri, Datuk Seri Mohd. Ali Rustam berkata, kemampuan mengendalikan pendaratan pesawat jenis Boeing 737 akan menggalakkan lebih banyak syarikat penerbangan dari luar untuk menggunakan LTAM.

''Ini satu lembaran baru buat LTAM apabila berjaya mengendalikan pendaratan pesawat jenis Boeing 737 dan secara tidak langsung akan membawa perubahan besar bagi mengendalikan penerbangan antarabangsa yang lain.

''Jika Malaysia Airlines (MAS), FireFly dan AirAsia masih enggan menggunakan LTAM, lebih baik kita memberi ruang pada mana-mana syarikat penerbangan lain untuk mendarat di LTAM," katanya di sini, semalam.

Jumaat lalu, pesawat jenis Boeing 737-500 membuat pendaratan sulung di LTAM yang sebelum ini hanya digunakan oleh pesawat jenis BAE 146-200 dan ATR500-72.

Sambutan meriah diberikan sebaik pesawat yang membawa seramai 124 penumpang termasuk anak kapal dari Pekan Baru diketuai oleh Gabenor Riau, Datuk H.M. Rusli Zainal dan pegawai tertinggi republik itu mendarat di LTAM.

Turut hadir, Konsul Malaysia di Pekan Baru, Zamani Ismail, Presiden Direktor Riau Air, Teguh T. Riyanto dan beberapa wartawan dari negara itu.

Mengulas lanjut, Mohd. Ali berkata, pendaratan itu akan mengeratkan lagi hubungan dua hala antara Melaka-Pekan Baru selain merancakkan lagi hubungan ekonomi termasuk dalam sektor pelancongan.

Katanya, kerajaan negeri turut menggalakkan orang ramai menggunakan Riau Air untuk ke destinasi lain di Indonesia termasuk Jakarta.

''Riau Air akan dijadikan sebagai hab udara untuk ke destinasi lain di seluruh Indonesia dan ini akan merancakkan ekonomi kedua-dua negara," ujarnya.

Riau Air menggunakan LTAM (dulu dikenali Lapangan Terbang Batu Berendam) sejak 2006 dengan menggunakan pesawat Fokker 50 yang mampu membawa 50 penumpang.

Beliau berkata, Riau Air akan menggunakan pesawat Boeing 737-500 bermula esok bagi destinasi Melaka-Pekan Baru bagi menggantikan pesawat Fokker 50.

Sasidaran Ketua Pemasaran Langsung baru Tune Money

KUALA LUMPUR, 10 Jan. - Tune Money Sdn. Bhd., syarikat perkhidmatan kewangan dalam talian sehenti di bawah Tune Group, hari ini mengumumkan pelantikan Sasitharan Krishnan sebagai Ketua Pemasaran Langsung, berkuat kuasa 3 Januari.

Sasitharan ditugaskan untuk meningkatkan lagi keupayaan pemasaran langsung dalam Tune Money untuk memasarkan produk perkhidmatan kewangan, terutama insurans, kepada syarikat penerbangan tambang rendah AirAsia dan pelanggan Tune Group.

Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif Tune Money Peter Miller berkata, pengalaman, pengetahuan dan kemahiran yang dimiliki Sasitharan, akan dapat membantu pelanggan meningkatkan pengalaman pemasaran langsung digital dan meningkatkan sinergi dengan syarikat Tune Group yang lain serta rakan perniagaan strategik lain termasuk AirAsia, Tune Hotels dan Tune Talk.

Tune Money ditubuhkan pada 2005 sebagai syarikat perkhidmatan kewangan sehenti yang menawarkan kad prabayar mampu milik menerusi jenama Visa dan produk insurans. - Bernama

77 maut nahas pesawat

Pasukan bomba dan persatuan bulan sabit merah membantu menyelamatkan mangsa nahas pesawat Boeing 727 yang terhempas di barat laut bandar Orumiyeh di barat wilayah Azerbaijan dekat Iran, kelmarin. - AFP

TEHERAN 10 Jan. - Sekurang-kurangnya 77 orang terbunuh dan 35 lagi cedera apabila pesawat Boeing 727 milik Iran terhempas dalam cuaca buruk di barat laut negara ini, lewat semalam.

Ketua Bulan Sabit Merah Iran, Mahmoud Mozafar berkata, kebanyakan mangsa yang cedera berada dalam keadaan kritikal.

Katanya, seramai 106 orang iaitu 12 anak kapal dan 94 penumpang berada di dalam pesawat milik Iran Air itu ketika nahas berlaku.

Seorang lagi pegawai Bulan Sabit Merah, Heidar Heidari memberitahu agensi berita IRNA, angka kematian dijangka meningkat.

Ahli keluarga mangsa nahas berkumpul di lapangan terbang Mehrabad, Teheran untuk mendapatkan maklumat daripada pihak berkuasa.

Beberapa pegawai berkata, nahas berlaku sejurus sebelum pesawat itu mendarat di lapangan terbang di bandar Urumiyeh, yang terletak kira-kira 1,000 kilometer ke barat laut Teheran di kawasan pergunungan berhampiran sempadan Turki.

Seorang pegawai berkata, seramai 50 orang terselamat dan operasi menyelamat terhalang ekoran salji dan kabus tebal.

Menurut Mahmoud kepada televisyen kerajaan, pesawat itu berkecai kepada beberapa bahagian, tetapi tidak meletup.

Shahrokh Nioushabadi, jurucakap penerbangan kebangsaan Iran, Air Iran, memberitahu agensi berita separuh kerajaan, Mehr bahawa dua kanak-kanak adalah antara penumpang pesawat itu.

Menurut televisyen milik kerajaan, pesawat Iran Air itu dalam penerbangan dari Teheran ke Urumiye ketika nahas berlaku. - Reuters

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Firefly perluas khidmat ke ASEAN tahun depan

KAUNTER jualan terbaharu Firefly di Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Kuala Lumpur (KLIA) mula beroperasi semalam.

SEPANG 4 Jan - Firefly, syarikat penerbangan komuniti pertama Malaysia, merancang meluaskan perkhidmatan ke negara anggota ASEAN pada suku ketiga tahun depan, kata Pengarah Urusannya Datuk Eddy Leong.

"Nyata, ASEAN akan menjadi tumpuan utama kami, dan kami akan mengkajinya secara berhati-hati.

"Kami kini melalui kelulusan slot," katanya kepada pemberita selepas mengumumkan kaunter jualan terbaharunya di Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Kuala Lumpur (KLIA), di sini hari ini.

Turut hadir Datuk Azmi Murad, Pengurus Besar Kanan (perkhidmatan operasi) Malaysia Airports.

Leong berkata, beliau belum dapat mengumumkan nama bandar raya pilihan Firefly itu.

Beliau berkata, pertumbuhan penumpang di Terminal Skypark di Subang dijangka melepasi dua juta tahun ini.

Tahun lepas, pertumbuhannya sebanyak 1.5 juta.

"Tahun ini pasti menarik untuk kami. Kami dapat melihat tanda-tanda jelas mengenai pemulihan ekonomi dan permintaan yang kukuh," katanya.

Leong berkata, pembukaan kaunter tiket di KLIA merupakan perkembangan semula jadi keputusan untuk menempatkan operasi Boeing 737-800 baharunya di lapangan terbang yang pernah memenangi anugerah itu.

"Operasi Firefly di KLIA akan memberi tumpuan terhadap menawarkan nilai yang tiada saingannya pada tambang rendah.

"Kami akan mengatasi saingan kami menerusi tambang rendah," katanya.

Beliau berkata, Firefly akan memulakan operasi pada 15 Jan dari Bangunan Terminal Utama KLIA ke Kuching dan Kota Kinabalu dua kali sehari dan mulai 24 Jan, masing-masing empat kali sehari dan tiga kali sehari.

Kaunter tiket lapangan terbang Firefly yang baharu dibuka dari 8.30 pagi hingga 5.30 petang dan menjual tiket untuk semua laluan Firefly, produk tambahan seperti makanan dalam penerbangan.

Leong berkata, waktu operasi akan bermula 5.30 pagi hingga 10 malam mulai 15 Jan.

Setakat ini, Firefly mempunyai 21 pejabat tiket lapangan terbang, katanya. -- BERNAMA

Cessna berundur daripada TUDM

RODZALI Daud (depan, kiri) menerima buku log perkhidmatan Cessna TUDM sebagai simbolik penamatan tauliah pesawat itu di Subang bulan lalu.

TARIKH 3 Disember 2010 mencatatkan satu lagi memori bermakna buat Tentera Udara Diraja Malaysia (TUDM) apabila lapan pesawat Cessna 402B ditamatkan daripada perkhidmatan angkatan itu secara rasmi.

Manakan tidak, selepas 35 tahun menerjah awan bersama barisan juruterbang TUDM, pesawat yang salah satunya pernah diterbangkan sendiri oleh bekas Perdana Menteri, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad itu pasti menyimpan pelbagai kisah suka dan duka bersama pasukan.

Pesawat yang mula-mula memasuki perkhidmatan TUDM sejak 1975 itu pada awalnya diserapkan ke Pusat Latihan Penerbangan Satu (Pulatibang 1) TUDM di Alor Setar, Kedah.

Sebanyak 12 buah pesawat jenis itu telah diperoleh kerajaan dengan 10 daripadanya digunakan dalam latihan lanjutan para pelatih juruterbang TUDM sewaktu itu, sementara dua lagi dibeli bagi tugas pemetaan dari udara oleh Jabatan Ukur dan Pemetaan Negara.

Bagaimanapun, kesemua Cessna itu dipindahkan ke Nombor (No.) 2 Skuadron di Pangkalan Udara TUDM Kuala Lumpur pada 1983, setelah pesawat Pilatus PC-7 memasuki inventori TUDM bagi tugas latihan juruterbang.

Pada waktu itu, kegunaan pesawat Cessna telah dipelbagaikan TUDM antaranya untuk membantu para juruterbang perkhidmatan dalam latihan peralihan pesawat pelbagai enjin (MECU).

Rentetan dari itu, pesawat berkenaan kemudiannya diserapkan ke No. 20 Skuadron di Pangkalan TUDM Subang mulai 1997 bagi mempelbagaikan lagi peranannya.

Cabaran Cessna

Selain cerita gembira dalam perkhidmatan, para peminat avionik dan ketenteraan tempatan juga tidak dapat melupakan tentang tragedi yang melibatkan pesawat itu.

Difahamkan, sebanyak tiga daripada pesawat Cessna dalam inventori TUDM pernah terlibat dalam kemalangan atau terhempas.

Selain itu, TUDM juga perlu akur bahawa pesawat Cessna 402B yang pada 1975 dianggap sebagai antara yang tercanggih dalam bidang penerbangan kini boleh dikategorikan sebagai usang.

Dengan perkembangan teknologi semasa, penyenggaraan Cessna yang menggabungkan teknologi lama serta penggunaan minyak pesawat dengan oktana tinggi atau AVGAS dirasakan semakin membebankan TUDM dan negara.

Menurut Panglima Tentera Udara, Jeneral Tan Sri Rodzali Daud, penamatan tauliah pesawat itu dipersetujui oleh Jemaah Menteri mulai bulan ini selepas mendapat pandangan TUDM mengenai status kapal terbang berkenaan.

“Kita bermula dengan 10 unit Cessna dan kini sebanyak lapan buah yang masih beroperasi.

“Dua daripada pesawat itu akan diserahkan kepada Muzium TUDM dan untuk latihan mekanikal di Kolej Tentera Udara (KTU) manakala enam lagi akan dibuat penilaian seterusnya,” katanya.

Beliau berkata demikian ketika menyempurnakan majlis penamatan tauliah Cessna 402B daripada TUDM di Pangkalan Udara TUDM Subang pada 3 Disember lalu.

Jelas di sini bahawa pesawat Cessna telah mewarnai arena penerbangan ketenteraan negara, walaupun ia ‘dilahirkan’ pada penghujung 1960an dengan keupayaan yang terhad.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Tentera Iran dakwa tembak jatuh dua pesawat pengintip

TEHRAN 3 Jan. – Iran menembak jatuh dua buah pesawat pengintip di Teluk Parsi, kata komander kanan keselamatan revolusi kepada agensi berita Fars.

“Banyak pesawat pengintip dan pesawat musuh yang menceroboh telah ditembak jatuh oleh pasukan keselamatan... malah kami turut menembak jatuh dua buah pesawat pengintip di Teluk Parsi,” kata Komander Amir Ali Hajizadeh.

“Namun inilah pertama kali kami mengumumkan mengenainya,” katanya tanpa menyatakan bila pesawat pengintip dan pesawat-pesawat lain itu telah ditembak jatuh. – Reuters