|AirDrama: As Lion enters Malaysia with Malindo, could Air Asia be in|
denial that it is the target and continue to slag off Malaysia Airlines?
(Artwork by: Rimanti N)
As Lion Air announced its entry into the Malaysian market yesterday, I do wonder on several things:
- Malindo's Malaysian shareholder is National Aerospace & Defence Industries, a state owned enterprise. They don't just go and set up companies with foreign partners just to compete with local fellow state owned enterprises do they? Just who is Malindo targetting? State owned Malaysia Airlines + Firefly because the politicians are frustrated at 'lack of progress' there? Or Air Asia (OK, did Tony Fernandes peeve off some politicians?)?
- As Air Asia becomes stronger regionally, Tony will have to spend less time on the home turf Malaysia... is this peeving some politicians off? Elections are coming up in Malaysia, no?
- Malindo's announcement yesterday, was attended by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib. Elections are coming up, and Tony Fernandes has run off to Jakarta... is Najib peeved off?
- Within 24 hours of the Malindo Airways announcement, Lion Air opened its Bandung-Kuala Lumpur route, head-to-head with Air Asia group. Timing is rather suspicious.
Air Asia's Tony Fernandes was quick to tweet:
"I think Malindo is more problematic for Malaysian Airlines not AirAsia. We have very strong position in Malaysia and are really a regional company."
While I generally agree to that tweet, I wonder, perhaps his habitual slagging off of Malaysian Airlines is peeving the Malaysian politicians off?
Coincidentally, today, Tony Fernandes' other slagging victim, Tiger Airways, announced better financial results. Tiger itself is trying to set up bases around the region. As the big cats grow, could their feline ambitions be aimed at Air Asia while Tony's confidence elude Air Asia's minds from the possibility? I guess I have to wait until Tony starts slagging off Jetstar (if he has, I must have missed it!) to figure it out.
Although there is one thing I agree with Tony Fernandes regarding Malindo Air:
"Why is the airline not called Lion Air Malaysian. Strange"