Thursday November 16, 2006
The Star, Malaysia)
PETALING JAYA: A
gap in the range of tourism facilities will be filled
when Tune Hotels.Com sets up a chain of no-frills hotels
in the country and, later, at the rest of AirAsia Bhd’s
While Tune Hotels will
develop some of the hotels, it will also franchise its
brand and expertise to property owners from whom it has
started to receive offers.
“We have about 10 hotels
on the table now for us to do deals,” said Tune Hotels
major shareholder Datuk Tony Fernandes, who is also a
major shareholder of AirAsia.
“Once you’ve got the model right, you could be rolling
it out like McDonald’s,” he told StarBiz
The group’s first hotel,
currently being refurbished, is located in Jalan Tuanku
Abdul Rahman, Kuala Lumpur. It is scheduled to open in
March next year.
Tune Hotels’ strategy is
to locate its hotels in the centre of cities or on
tourist belts of resorts, not miles away where land
costs may be lower. The offers on Fernandes’ table
include properties on well-located sites in cities and
“You’d be surprised how
many property owners want to convert their office
buildings into a hotel to get a higher yield,” he said.
The Tune Hotels will have
same attributes – good location, no frills like
gymnasiums or swimming pools and chic, clean rooms in a
safe environment. Hence, tourists will know what to
expect even if they are booked in a Tune Hotel in a town
they’ve not visited before.
The hotels will also have
the same rate structure as AirAsia, that is, starting
from RM9.99 for certain off-peak periods. The average
room rate will, however, be closer to RM60 a night.
Recalling the inspiration
for the concept, Fernandes said he was in Singapore
where he was to check into a budget hotel. “That’s our
culture,” he said. But, budget hotels were fully booked,
“and I ended up in the Ritz Carlton,” he added.
“So I was in this big room
and I thought I could do exactly the same thing I did in
AirAsia – take away the frills and pass the cost savings
to the customer,” he said.
AirAsia has developed into
the region’s largest low-cost carrier (LCC). It followed
that the LCC Terminal in Sepang is “way, way ahead of
(Singapore’s) Changi airport,” he added.
“A low-cost carrier is one
part of the equation in the tourism sector. Budget
hotels are another,” he added.
With a thriving LCC hub in
Sepang, it would be a boon to the industry if passing
tourists could be convinced to stay for two or three
days. “Singapore has done that very effectively,” he
AirAsia is bringing
travellers to its hub in Sepang from Bangkok and they
are not just Thais but also tourists from Europe. Tune
Hotels will also play a role in ensuring that there are
ample, affordable rooms that meet their standards.
The next thing that was
needed was open skies to Singapore where AirAsia could
tap the tremendous connectivity there for international
tourists, he added.
Thursday February 8, 2007
KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia Bhd
has sufficient funds for fleet expansion and does not
have to raise any more capital up to 2009, according to
group chief executive officer Datuk Tony Fernandes.
“We have no immediate
plans to raise funds by selling new stocks to
“Our business has never
been stronger than it is now. We are happy that our cash
flow and capital structure is really good,” he said
after a signing ceremony between LogicaCMG and Tune
Money Sdn Bhd yesterday.
concerns raised by analysts on the need for the company
to raise capital to fund its latest order of additional
50 A320 Airbus.
“We are very comfortable
with our gearing level and positive cash flow, coupled
with good load factor, we do not need to go with the
rights issue, secondary or primary market (to raise
“We probably won't need
(additional) funds up to 2009,” Fernandes said.
He had no doubt that the
airline would be able to fill its planes, as there were
500 million people in the southeast Asian region and the
potential was huge.
He added that the
additional aircraft would bring in the load factor and
business for the airline.
Fernandes had also
expressed confidence over AirAsia's growth, saying that
the airline expected to carry about 62 million
passengers by 2013.
He said AirAsia would
continue to grow with new routes and more frequencies.
Fernandes added that
AirAsia's board would probably meet on Feb 28 to discuss
a proposal to buy 20% of rural carrier Fly Asian Xpress,
which runs AirAsia X, a long-haul budget carrier.
Meanwhile, Fernandes said
Tune Hotels Sdn Bhd, the operator of no frills hotels,
which is 55.8%, owned by Tune Ventures, was expected to
start operations in April.
“Tune Hotel complements
AirAsia very well,” he said, adding that the company had
acquired five properties for the purpose.
One of the hotels in Kuala
Lumpur would be the flagship hotel.
The company would be
launching a mock-up of Tune Hotel's room at its office
in Petaling Jaya tomorrow. – By Leong Hung yee (
The Star, Malaysia)
How To Get There
monorail from Medan Tuanku to Bukit Nanas, then LRT from
Dang Wangi to KLCC. Otherwise, take a short taxi ride.
A bustling street highly popular with tourists
for souvenirs, great bargains and whole lot of cheap
hotel, take a leisurely stroll down Jalan Sultan Ismail
and turn right before Sheraton Imperial.
A par adise for
gastronomers and shopaholics. Has a great mix of swanky
cafés, local eateries, branded and budget stores.
monorail from Medan Tuanku straight to Bukit Bintang.
Address: No 316, Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03 7962 5888 (Monday to Friday)
TUNE HOTEL FAQ