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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

AirAsia to Christchurch finally

AirAsia has finally beaten the unbeaten track. Flights from South East Asia to Christchurch, New Zealand. Almost all major airlines do not fly into this secondary airport in the Southern Island of NZ. They prefer Auckland because of capacity, population, commercial and business centre prospects.

The only airline that was doing direct flights was Singapore Airlines.

So now finally, AirAsia is opening a new floodgate.
1) The first budget airline to get into CHCH.
2) No MAS (Malaysia Airlines) flights into CHCH. Therefore, no undercutting by MAS.
3) Potentially boosting throughput at KLIA-LCCT (Low Cost Carrier Terminal) - with travellers opting to use AirAsia therefore making a stopover in LCCT.

Previously, travellers from say Thailand, Cambodia, even Malaysia, will have to to be funnelled into Changi Airport before boarding their direct flight using Singapore Airlines. Now, they will be naturally funnelled into LCCT to CHCH.

For 200 RM (80 SGD) one way to CHCH, it might even lure Singapore based travellers to take the short flight now to LCCT! So finally, after years of sitting closely and watching airplanes and tourists dollars literally flying into the Republic of Singapore, finally, some tourists dollars will land on Malaysia shores. The irony of it is the government had been totally unhelpful to AirAsia for years, by blocking routes and helping MAS indirectly and directly.

Very similar protectionism in the car industry whereby Proton is being protected, that simply doesn't help the nation and citizens.

On average the cost of a high quality imported Japanese car is 50000 RM. But due to protectionist system in place, the price is over 100000 RM. While the cost of a locally assembled "national" car, perhaps should cost less than the Japanese car - say 25000 RM. But is artificially jacked-up to 50000 RM. As you can see, the sum of it is the citizen loses by paying more for an inferior quality car (and sacrificing safety).

The car industry should not have been implemented in the first place. As you know, what you never had you will never miss. Now the "addiction" is there. Everyone has a need to own a car. It is not The Need For Speed, but The Need To Own. And alas, the 2 other important criteria to make a car-owning system works - 1) better safer larger roads and traffic system
2) better safer larger connected public transportation system

So there you go. Two classic cases of protectionism gone wrong. And perhaps into a few politicians pocket and bank account.

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