Tag: air asia

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New Airline Alert: Welcome Vanilla Air to the Asia Budget Airspace

Where: Japan
August 20, 2013 at 12:40 PM | by | ()

It hasn't even been two years yet since Japan saw its first low-cost airline plying the skies, for it was November 2011 that premium carrier ANA launched their budget offshoot, Peach.

Peach may have been the first, but they sure weren't the last LCC to make a base in Japan, as Kuala Lumpur-headquartered Air Asia threw their hat into the ring with a joint venture with ANA, named Air Asia Japan. Now, in a fun twist in the always dynamic airline industry, Air Asia Japan will flip over to complete ANA control and be renamed and rebranded as Vanilla Air.

Why that name, in particular? According to the airline's president Tomonori Ishii, "Vanilla Air" was chosen because vanilla "...is popular and loved by everyone in the world" and "it is a very cute name." So too is the name "Peach," but thus far there are no plans to merge Vanilla and Peach, now both budget carriers under the wings of ANA.

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Design an AirAsia Plane to Win a Trip to Airbus HQ

Where: Malaysia
August 20, 2013 at 11:38 AM | by | ()

Here's another chance to haul out those giant markers and brush up on your airplane designing skills. The scarlet low-cost airline, AirAsia, is giving fans a chance to paint one of seven new aircraft. And while it's super cool to be able to walk through an airport and say, "see that plane, I designed that!," the grand prize is even better than just having your art taking to the skies.

The Asian LCC is calling on its most creative passengers to come up with a new livery for its newest Airbus A330s. Each of the seven birds are already named and the paint job should reflect that theme, but with names like XKLusive, Xiao Long Bao, Xeoul Mate, Xiaolin Spirit, Xcintillating PhoeniX, Harmonious DiverXity, Xakura Blossom, the creativity will be free flowing. The winner of the best livery will not only have their design on the side of a plane, but be flown to the Airbus factory in France to see where these babies are born.

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Around the World for a Passport Stamp: How to Travel to Brunei

August 13, 2013 at 8:13 PM | by | ()

Who goes to Brunei? Not many, in truth, since the tiny, oil-rich Sultanate in Southeast Asia only sees around 250,000 visitors every year. Make that 250,001 for 2013, as we recently ventured there ourselves to find out exactly what there is to do besides get a cool passport stamp. So Google Map it and stay tuned as we share Brunei travel tips all week.

"I don't even know where that is. Middle East? Everyone drives a Rolls-Royce, right?"

No one we knew had ever been to Brunei (full name: Negara Brunei Darussalam), and forget pointing it out on a map. Pre-trip research meant pouring over Wikipedia articles and a few random travel blog posts detailing little more than quick overnights to "cross it off the list."

But rest assured that it's a completely legitimate place, with a normal airport (Brunei International-BWN) and its own national airline (Royal Brunei) and currency (the Brunei Dollar, pegged to the Singapore Dollar) and it's only around a two-hour flight from many of the teeming, travel-happy metropoli of Southeast Asia. So why aren't more travelers popping over to check out Brunei's South China Sea beaches, take a boat ride through the water village built on stilts, or visit the rare monkeys deep in the jungle?

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Three Budget Airline Policies That Don't Suck

May 16, 2013 at 12:07 PM | by | ()

One of the best ways of jetting off to fabulous locations while staying conscious of your bank account is searching for seats on a low-cost carrier. There's usually a downside, however, and that's the extra fees and policies that come along with no-frills travel.

After hearing horror stories of travel on low-cost airlines like Spirit and Ryanair, you may think there's nothing to look forward to except arriving at your destination. But every so often, there's a diamond in the rough—a policy that benefits instead of punishes traveler. Here's a few of our favorites:

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Flight Review: Under $100 on Air Asia from Thailand to Cambodia

Where: Thailand
May 9, 2013 at 1:31 PM | by | ()

In all truthfulness, low-cost airlines get a bad rap for being more bottom-line conscious than customer focused, but on a recent flight from Thailand to Cambodia, we wanted to truly see for ourselves if Air Asia was as bad as the reputation of other LCCs would have us believe.

Earlier this week, we showed you how Bangkok's Don Mueang (DMK) is primarily used by Air Asia and other budget-carriers, so after wandering around the nearly vacant terminal, we headed downstairs to hop on a bus that took us to our bird.

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Totally Soaked in Thailand: the Water Festival of Songkran in Video

April 16, 2013 at 1:46 PM | by | ()

Yesterday we talked about the significance of the Thai New Year celebration, Songkran and what it means for cities like Chiang Mai. Now we can show you a little video which is only a few minutes of an entire day of events, but sums up the excitement pretty well.

We've already discussed about preparing to get wet...really wet. The video shows how water is everywhere and on everyone. There are very few spots, if any, that escape the deluge of new year cleansing. This video was shot on Kotchasam Road, flanking the moat of the old city with a major street-incapacitating party at the intersection of Tha Pae Road.

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The Date's Set: Richard Branson Dresses in Drag on Special May 12 Flight

Where: Malaysia
April 12, 2013 at 11:26 AM | by | ()

Right now, somewhere in Malaysia, a red skirt is being tailored to fit Sir Richard Branson.

On May 12, Branson will join Air Asia Group CEO Tony Fernandes on a flight from Perth, Australia to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The six-hour trip is a special one, as it's finally the moment Sir Richard makes good on a bet he lost to Fernandes in late 2010, over whose Formula One race team would be ranked higher. Spoiler alert: Fernandes' Lotus Racing team won over over that of Virgin, and the plans to install Branson as a flight attendant on an Air Asia X flight began.

The event has been delayed many times, but finally seats are now for sale from $399 AUD ($420 USD) on the special, one-way flight, and may be purchased online. Be sure to book AirAsia X’s flight D7 237 on Sunday, May 12.

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The World of Wild & Crazy Airplane Paint Jobs

March 15, 2013 at 11:00 AM | by | ()

We find it exciting to walk through an airport and catch a glimpse of a specially painted airplane gliding by the windows, or even sneak a peek at vibrant liveries while taxiing to our gate in a foreign land. Thankfully the airline world is chock full of super quirky, stand-out airplane designs and, while some make us raise an eyebrow and tilt our head, all bring a smile and make us reach for our camera.

Here are some of the more flamboyant aircraft paint jobs::

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One Airline's Adults-only Section May Be Better Than First Class

Where: Malaysia
February 11, 2013 at 9:09 AM | by | ()

Last year, we talked about Air Asia X's plan to incorporate a section of their economy cabin specifically for those flyers that would prefer to not sit near children. After quick mention that sparked some heated discussion over the topic, the LCC have committed to the passenger enhancement.

Joining the likes of Malaysia Airlines and Thai Airways, both of which have some sort of restriction on flying children, Air Asia has reserved the first 7 rows of its forward economy cabin for passengers that can cough up an extra $15 —for advance seat selection, not specifically this cabin— and sit amongst passengers that are older than 12 years old.

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Which Airlines Want Your Food Order Before Boarding

September 18, 2012 at 4:59 PM | by | ()

For those of you that are flying coach, the days of chicken or beef might finally be coming to an end. Airlines are realizing there is a market for premium meals even in the back of the plane and they're willing to take some cash and cook it up for you. But, only if you give them ample notice.

We have told you about a few airlines that have been upgrading their menus to offer coach flyers an improved flying experience, even giving a sample of the foreign land's cuisine. Here is the rundown of the pre-order meals options, by airline, but keep in mind this is really only the start.

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AirAsia is Big Ballin' and Shotcallin' in Indonesia

Where: Indonesia
August 1, 2012 at 10:06 AM | by | ()

It isn't often we see airline balance sheets so much in the black that they can acquire entire other airlines at the drop of a hat. Except that's exactly how things played out for AirAsia last week when it went to the ATM and bought its competitor, Batavia Air.

What the Kuala Lumpur-based AirAsia did was fork over $80 million cash for the Jakarta-based Batavia. $80 million. In big ballin' bills. Yep, no interest rates, no late payment fees...cash.

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Swim, Surf, Lunch, Tan, Plane Spot, Repeat. That's the Bali Formula.

May 23, 2012 at 10:08 AM | by | ()

We have a little secret, and it involved airplanes, seafood, blue waters and, if you've got 'em, binoculars. It's the secret to what is probably the best place to plane spot on the exotic Indonesia island of Bali: the south seafood warungs of Jimbaran Bay.

Finding it was a total fluke. We weren't even trying to plane spot, we swear! We were hungry. We heard the Jimbaran seafood warungs (super casual, mostly outdoor cafes) were good. We heard the ones on the southern end of the big beach were great. Now what makes them excellent: a perfect viewing angle for watching all variety of airplanes take off from Bali-Denpasar Airport's runway that juts out in the ocean.

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