Wednesday, October 31, 2018

New Mac mini Now Open For Pre-Order In Malaysia; Available Starting 7 November

Apple has announced the local pricing and availability for its recently announced, newly refreshed Mac mini. The pricing was shown on Apple Malaysia’s official website soon after the company’s October 2018 keynote. More information regarding the Mac mini can be found here.

That aside, Apple Malaysia’s official website currently offers two ‘base’ configurations of the new Mac mini (customisable). The more affordable option features an unspecified 8th-generation quad-core 3.6GHz Intel Core i3 processor, 8GB DDR4 RAM (2666MHz), Intel UHD Graphics 630, and a 128GB PCIe-based SSD storage. This model comes with a ‘modest’ price tag of RM3,449. 

Next up is the more powerful Mac mini variant which features a six-core 8th Generation Intel Core i5 processor (Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz), 8GB DDR4 RAM (2666MHz), Intel UHD Graphics 630, and 256GB PCIe-based SSD storage. This variant is priced slightly higher at RM4,699.
Both Mac mini variants are expected to ship from 30 November 2018, according to Apple Malaysia’s official website. (UPDATE: Apple has confirmed to us that the Mac mini will be available at Apple Authorised Resellers outlets in Malaysia starting from 7 November.) 

Pre-orders for Apple’s new Mac mini can be made here. 

Sony Announces Full PlayStation Classic Lineup

Last month, Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) announced that it will be launching the PlayStation Classic on 3 December 2018. The console will come with 20 games, with only a few that will be universal throughout the different regions. Today, SIE has announced the full list of games that will come with the Malaysian version of the PlayStation Classic.

The full list is as follows:
  1. Battle Arena Toshinden
  2. Cool Boarders 2
  3. Destruction Derby
  4. Final Fantasy VII
  5. Grand Theft Auto
  6. Intelligent Qube
  7. Jumping Flash!
  8. Metal Gear Solid
  9. Mr Driller
  10. Oddworld Abe’s Oddysee
  11. Rayman
  12. Resident Evil Director’s Cut
  13. Revelations Persona
  15. Super Ouzzke Fighter II Turbo
  16. Syphon Filter
  17. Tekken 3
  18. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six
  19. Twisted Metal
  20. Wild Arms
As a recap, the PlayStation Classic is a tinier version of the original PlayStation, much like the NES Classic. It comes with an HDMI cable and two controllers. It will be available in Malaysia starting 3 December for RM429.

The New MacBook Air Features Retina Display, Touch ID, and More Compact Body

Just moments ago at its media event in Brooklyn, Apple has unveiled the latest iteration of MacBook Air to the world. Made from 100% recycled aluminum, the new model is not only more compact than its predecessor but is also equipped with a 13.3-inch Retina Display which is apparently one of the most requested features from Apple customers.

The new MacBook Air also comes with 8th Intel Core dual-core processor and can be obtained with up to 16GB RAM as well as 1.5TB solid state drive. It also features a Touch ID sensor which is secured by a dedicated T2 security chip that also protects its boot process and solid state drive as well as enabling the “Hey Siri” feature on the laptop.

Other improvements that Apple has implemented on the new MacBook Air with Retina Display also includes a larger Force Touch trackpad and louder stereo speakers. The new laptop also features the third-gen Apple keyboard from MacBook Pro which is said able to deliver more precise and responsive typing experience.
Comes standard with two Thunderbolt 3, Apple stated that the new MacBook Air with Retina Display has a battery life of up to 12 hours for wireless web surfing while it can also last up to 13 hours for iTunes movie playback. To be available starting from 7 November onwards, the new MacBook Air has a starting price of USD 1199 (about RM 5016).
We’ll keep you updated once we heard more regarding the availability and pricing for the new laptop in Malaysia. (UPDATE: the new MacBook Air with Retina Display now available for pre-order in Malaysia)

New iPad Pros Feature Bezel-less Displays; Works A Lot Like The New iPhones

Apple has announced the new iPad Pro during its event, alongside the new Macbook Air and Mac Mini. And it is indeed bezel-less, just like the icon in iOS 12 suggested.

Now that the iPad Pro is bezel-less, it works a lot like the new iPhones X, XS, XS Max, and XR. Without the Home button, gestures is the key to accessing everything. That also means Face ID for unlocking the device.
Being bezel-less also means that the tablets have a smaller form factor. The smaller one has the same size as the old 10.5-inch iPad Pro, but the display itself measures in at 11-inches. The 12.9-inch variant, on the other hand, is just straight up smaller. As for thickness, both measure in at 5.9mm.
The display itself is a Liquid Retina display, first seen with the iPhone XR. Additionally, these Liquid Retina displays also have a refresh rate of 120Hz.
On the inside, the new iPad Pros come with the A12X Bionic 7nm chip. It consists of four performance cores, four efficiency cores, and a seven-core GPU. Together, the Apple claims that they give the new iPad Pro the performance of an Xbox One S, and a 10-hour battery life.
Probably the best change found on the new iPad Pro is the fact that it now uses a USB Type-C port instead of a proprietary Lightning port. This means that the iPad Pro has gotten a serious bump in flexibility; The USB Type-C port can be used to project to an external display, as well as charge other iPhones, in addition to charging the iPad Pro itself.
Other features on the iPad Pro include up to 1TB of internal storage, four speakers, and support for eSIMs on cellular models. When used with a second-generation Apple Pencil, it attaches to the new iPad Pro magnetically, where it will also begin the pairing and wireless charging process automatically.
The iPad Pro comes with four storage options – 64GB, 256GB, 512GB and the aforementioned 1TB. As mentioned, there’s the option to get cellular models as well. And colour options are limited to Silver and Space Grey.
The 11-inch iPad Pro starts at US$799 (~RM3343) for Wi-Fi models and US$949 (~RM3971) for Wi-Fi and cellular. As for the 12.9-inch model, prices start at US$999 (~RM4180) for Wi-Fi models and US$1149 (~RM4808) for cellular models. They will be available starting 7 November.

MacBook Air with Retina Display Price In Malaysia Starts At RM 5249

Right after its global debut at Apple’s special event in Brooklyn, consumers in Malaysia are now able to pre-order the new MacBook Air with Retina Display through Apple Malaysia’s official website. They are also given the option to choose the amount of RAM and storage space for their new MacBook Air.

In general, the newly announced MacBook Air can be obtained with up to 16GB of LPDDR3-2133 RAM alongside 1.5TB solid state drive. Other than that, they also have three color options including Space Gray, Gold, and Silver. The rest of the laptop remained identical regardless of their choices though.

Price-wise, the base model which features 8GB RAM and 128GB storage is listed at RM 5249. Customers that want to have 16GB of RAM instead need to RM 880 on top of that price tag. Same goes for the storage options as the 256GB, 512GB, and 1.5TB since they cost additional RM 850, RM 1700, and RM 5100 respectively.
In terms of availability, we are not sure about the exact release date in Malaysia but at the time that this article is published, the shipping date for MacBook Air is currently stated on Apple Malaysia website as between 3 to 17 December. (UPDATE: Apple has confirmed to us that the laptop will be available at Apple Authorised Resellers outlets in Malaysia starting from 7 November.) 

Apple Malaysia Lists Down Pricing For New iPad Pro; Starts From RM3499

Soon after Apple announced the new iPad Pros, the company’s local page got updated to feature the new models, as well as their prices.

The price of the 11-inch iPad Pro starts from RM3499, while the 12.9-inch model starts at RM4349. You can check the actual price of each configuration from Apple’s page.
All that said, there’s no indication as to when they will actually be available yet, at least at the time of writing.

Friday, October 26, 2018

The Second Apple Store In Southeast Asia To Be Opened On 10 November

Slightly more than a year after opening Apple Orchard Road in Singapore, the Cupertino giant will soon open its second directly-owned retail store in Southeast Asia next month. In case you missed our report last year, the new Apple Store will not be in Kuala Lumpur or any cities within Malaysia though.

Instead, Apple has chosen to open it in Bangkok, Thailand. Also true to previous rumors, the new outlet is located at Iconsiam which is an equally new mixed-use development area on the banks of the Chao Phraya River within the Khlong San district of the city.

According to Apple Thailand’s official website, the new Apple Iconsiam will be opening its doors to customers on this coming 10 November. Just like many Apple Store throughout the world, the new outlet is set to deliver experiences that go beyond normal retail stores.
This is mainly done through Today at Apple programs which consisted of hands-on sessions such as Photo Walks, Photo Lab, Music Lab, Kids Hour, Sketch Walks, and many more that help highlights the capabilities of Apple products. You are able to get a glimpse of these program in action through our tour of Apple Orchard Road right here.
Meanwhile, is there still a prospect for Apple Kuala Lumpur or other cities within Malaysia anytime soon? Based on Apple’s job listings for Malaysia at the moment, we don’t think so.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Cathay Pacific Admits To Data Breach; Up To 9.4 Million Passengers’ Data Stolen

Hong Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific recently revealed that it had been the victim of a cyber breach back in March. Hackers breached the airline’s data centers and made off with a long list of its passengers’ records and details. 9.4 million of them, to be precise.

Airline passenger records contain both personal and sensitive details of a person. Including passport information, identity cards numbers, names, birthdays, even mailing addresses. According to The Verge, Cathay Pacific had also confirmed that 403 expired credit card numbers were compromised, along with 27 active credit card numbers, but with no CVV numbers attached to them.

Cathay Pacific also released a statement, saying that no evidence of misuse of the personal information that was obtained from the hack has surfaced thus far. It also said that no passwords were compromised, to best of its knowledge.
The magnitude of the breach does beggar belief. Usually, companies that suffer from cyber attacks have an obligation to inform both the public and its shareholders of such incidents within a reasonable time slot. The fact that the airline took this long also suggests that it was trying to keep the situation under wraps, while actively seeking out the parties responsible for the breach.
That’s not even including the potential legal ramifications that Cathay Pacific will now have to deal with, especially in Europe. Given its heavy presence in the region, it is highly likely that the EU will mete out some form of punishment to the airline via the recently passed GPDR rules. One of which states that companies affected by a data breach must report the incident to both customers and law enforcement agencies within three days from its discovery.
If you feel like you were one of the people affected by the data breach, you can contact the airline directly or visit this official page for more information.

Leica M10-D Is A Digital Rangefinder With Built-In WiFi; Comes Without LCD Display

Leica has launched the M10-D, and the brand is aiming at it being the old-school camera of yore. A spiritual successor to the M-D digital rangefinder, the M10-D offers film-like shooting experience, but with a modern twist.

Underneath the all metal body, the M10-D shares many features of the M10-P. This includes the 24MP full-frame CMOS sensor and Maestro II processor. With the image processor, the camera can save images as either DNG or JPG files. It can save images to the 2GB on board storage, or on a SD card. Leica’s M-mount gives flexibility for the camera to accept Leica’s wide range of high-quality lenses.

What makes the camera unique is the lack of an LCD screen at the back. Instead, it features a large selector dial. The inner ring adjusts exposure compensation while the outer switches between off, and two “On” modes: Shooting Mode and Wi-Fi Enabled. ISO, aperture and shutter speed can be adjusted via dials on the M10-D. Other parameters however are controlled instead using Leica’s FOTOS app on the smartphone. The app can also act as a live view display for the camera.
Composing an image on the camera can be done using the optical viewfinder, or the optional Visoflex electronic viewfinder which attaches via the hotshoe. Pairing the camera and a smartphone is also a simple affair – users just need to scan a QR code to pair the phone with the FOTOS app.
The Leica M10-D is priced at USD7,995 (~RM33,359) while the Visoflex electronic viewfinder retails for USD575 (~RM2,399).

You Can Soon Pin Songs To Your Facebook Profile and Stories

Facebook will soon give you the ability to add songs to your profile page, as well as to photos and videos on Facebook Stories. From the sound of it, it’s going to be a lot like the previous generation of social media.

To start, you are able to add music to your Facebook Stories starting from today onwards. Just upload a photo or video – or take one using Facebook Camera – then tap on the sticker icon, followed by the music sticker.

After you choose your track, you then get to choose the part of the song that best describes your Story. The actual sticker will have the name of the song and artist in it, and you’re free to move that around like any other sticker.
In the near future, Facebook will also be adding a new music section to the top of your profile page. You can pin one song – be it one that you’re listening to, or your all-time favorite.
If a visitor plays the song from there, they’ll hear a clip of the song, and a clip featuring photos of the artist and album art will accompany the music. They’ll then be able to add the song to their own profile page or visit the artist’s Facebook page.
Last but not least, Facebook has also announced some updates for the Lip Sync Live feature which the company unveiled back in June. It now comes with lyrics to the songs you chose and you can also use the feature on pages as well.
It remains to be seen if the selection is wide enough to cater to those who want to use non-mainstream music though.

Datin Seri Rosmah, Dua Anak Lelaki Tiba Di, Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah Komersial (News)

Isteri bekas Perdana Menteri, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor dan dua anaknya, Norashman Najib dan Riza Aziz tiba di Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah Komersial di Menara KPJ, Jalan Tun Razak, di sini sebentar tadi.

Rosmah yang berbaju kurung putih tiba kira-kira jam 9.45 pagi menaiki kereta Proton Perdana berwarna hitam.

Manakala kedua-dua anaknya juga menaiki sebuah kereta Proton Perdana.

Ketiga-tiga mereka dipanggil untuk memberi keterangan di kepada Pasukan Siasatan Jenayah Pengubahan Wang Haram (Amla), Urus Setia Ketua Polis Negara Bukit Aman berhubung pemilikan dan pembelian barangan kemas yang dirampas di hartanah berkaitan Najib pada Mei lalu, berkaitan dengan siasatan skandal 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Jun lalu, Pengarah Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah Komersial Bukit Aman, Datuk Seri Amar Singh Ishar Singh memaklumkan bahawa nilai keseluruhan rampasan daripada 75 beg daripada enam lokasi serbuan yang dikaitkan dengan isu 1Malaysian Development Berhad (1MDB) berjumlah antara RM900 juta hingga RM1.1 bilion.

Enam premis yang diserbu adalah Pejabat Perdana Menteri, Sri Perdana, tiga buah kediaman mewah di Pavilion Residence, Bukit Bintang, kediaman bekas Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak di Jalan Langgak Duta.

Kandungan di dalam 75 beg itu berisi wang tunai pelbagai mata wang, barang kemas, jam tangan, cermin mata dan beg tangan pelbagai jenama.

Pada 26 September, Rosmah hadir kali kedua ke Ibu Pejabat Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) selepas selesai memberi keterangan hampir 13 jam.

4 Oktober lalu, Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM) tidak menolak kemungkinan memanggil isteri Rosmah bagi merakamkan percakapan berhubung siasatan pelbagai kes termasuk siasatan terhadap syarikat pelaburan kontroversi, 1MDB.

Malaysian national set to be hung this Friday in Singapore. Malaysian Ministers urge the Singapore Government to halt the execution.

Prabu N Pathmanathan, a 31-year-old Malaysian national is slated to be executed this Friday (26 October 2018) Changi Prison Complex.
Prabu was first arrested for drug trafficking on 31 December 2014 and sentenced to the death penalty. His family was informed of Prabu's execution date only on 20 October 2018.
Malaysian lawyer group, led by prominent human rights lawyers N Surendran and Latheefa Koya, urged the new Pakatan Harapan Government, who have already committed to abolishing the death penalty in Malaysia, to undertake diplomatic efforts to save Prabu's life.
Earlier today, it was announced that the Malaysian Law Minister, Liew Vui Keong, was set to pen a letter to the Singapore Government to commute Prabu's death sentence to life imprisonment. In a UN day address, Minister Keong also called upon the Singapore Government to halt Prabu's execution.
Background on Arrest
On 31 December 2014, Prabu's co-accused, Suthakar drove a Toyota Hilux into Singapore via Woodlands Checkpoint when his car was subjected to a search by ICA Officers. The ICA Officers noticed some scratches on the screws in the rear seat and decided to remove the screws. They then found ten packets of a brown granular substance, which was later identified as diamorphine, in the compartment.
Suthakar then identified Prabu as the owner of the car and told the officers that he was instructed by Prabu to transport the packets into Singapore and meet him outside a Sheng Shiong supermarket. Suthakar admitted that he knew he was transporting drugs but claimed that he thought he was in possession of cannabis instead of diamorphine. He also claimed that Prabu was to pay him about 1,000 to 1,500 Malaysian Ringgit. Prabu was arrested later that afternoon at the car park at Woodlands Town Garden and two screwdrivers were retrieved from the dashboard of his car.
During his trial, Prabu raised an issue about the admissibility of his statements as he claimed that the Investigating Officer induced him with the offer of escaping the death penalty. The trial judge also found that the forensic evidence was "not entirely conclusive" as the test from the Health Sciences Authority only revealed that one of the screwdrivers retrieved from Prabu's car "could have originated" from the screws in the Toyota Hilux.
Despite this, the Judge ultimately found that Prabu had knowledge of the specific nature of the drugs being transported and, together with Suthakar, had the common intention of transporting the drugs into Singapore for the purposes of delivering it to buyers in Singapore. However, the Judge held that Suthakar's role was limited to that of a courier as his actions constituted "acts preparatory to or for the purpose of transporting, sending or delivering the diamorphine under s 33B(2)(a)(iii) of the Act." We understand that Suthakar's sentence was eventually commuted to life imprisonment while Prabu was sentenced to the death penalty.
Response from Malaysian Lawyers
On 10 October 2018, the Malaysian Government announced plans to abolish the death penalty in principle. The timing of this announcement on the World Day Against the Death Penalty brought widespread praise for the newly-elected Pakatan Harapan government.
Lawyers for Liberty, a lawyers group in Malaysia, applauded the Government for it's long overdue recognition and called upon it to repatriate Malaysians who faced the death penalty abroad.
"At this moment, let us also not forget the many hundreds of Malaysians who are languishing on death row in foreign countries, particularly for being drug mules ... Having rejected the death penalty in this country, we now have the moral authority to fight for the lives of our citizens abroad.” - N Surendran, Adviser to Lawyers for Liberty
In a statement released earlier this evening, Lawyers for Liberty called on the Pakatan Harapan Government to undertake "urgent and strenuous" efforts to save Prabu's life.
“On Oct 13, Deputy Foreign Minister Marzuki Yahya assured Malaysians that the government would come up with a solution for Malaysians facing execution abroad ... We now urge the Malaysian government to make urgent and strenuous efforts to save Prabu from the gallows this Friday."
Statement from Malaysian Law Minister
The de-facto Malaysian Law Minister Liew Vui Keong told reporters in Kuala Lumpur that he received news of Prabu's imminent execution only this morning (24 October 2018) and shared that he intends to pen a letter to the Singapore Government to halt Prabu's execution. He added that he plans to work with the Foreign Ministry on this issue. When asked what would happen if the execution were to be carried out, he replied “That will be a sad thing. I hope they won't.”
During a speech to commemorate the 73rd anniversary of the United Nations Day, the Law Minister made a case for abolishing the death penalty and called upon the Singapore Government to save Prabu's life. The speech was delivered to an audience that consisted of hundreds of diplomats, politicians and representatives from civil society.
In addition to Selamat Bin Paki, who was executed earlier this morning at Changi Prison Complex, a total of three people may be hung in the space of 48 hours this week in Singapore. Barring the exceptional case of Kho Jabing, who was hung on Friday afternoon following a eleventh-hour appeal, this is the first time that an inmate is hung at a time other than the traditional execution time of dawn at Friday. The hanging of someone on a Wednesday and the hanging of three people in the span of a week has not occurred before in recent history. While the Malaysian Government embarks on abolishing the death penalty, there seems to be a bloody rampage of sorts taking place across the causeway.
Irwan Bin Ali, a 43 year-old Singaporean is the other inmate who is set to be executed alongside Prabu on Friday. Irwan was first arrested on 26 April 2012 and found to be in possession of 2.5kg of diamorphine. At trial, Irwan challenged the admissability of his statements by arguing that Irwan was suffering from the severe effects of heroin withdrawal and therefore was agitated, in pain and troubled at the time statments were taken from him. At trial, one psychiatrist opined that Irwan was indeed suffering from acute drug withdrawal but another psychiatrist differed in his opinion and said that Irwan was only suffering form a milder form of chronic, as opposed to acute, drug withdrawal. Ultimately, the judge held that the chronic drug withdrawal did not impair Irwan's state of mind sufficiently enough so as to affect the admissability and voluntariness of the incriminating statements. The Judge found that the accused was in possession of diamorphine and knew the nature of the drugs he was in possession of. Although it was not disputed that the accused was a mere courier (and therefore eligible to have his death sentence commuted to life imprisonment), as the Prosecution refused to give a certificate of co-operation to Irwan, the Judge did not have the option of commuting his sentence. He was sentenced to death on 9 September 2016
Candelight vigil to be held for Prabu and Irwan at Hong Lim Park
In Singapore, civil society group Community Action Network announced that permit has been given for a candlelight vigil to be held at Hong Lim Park at 7.30pm on 25 October for Prabu.

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 Now Official: Delivers Notch-less Full Screen Experience via Magnetic Slider Body

As promisedXiaomi just moments ago has officially unveiled yet another new phone under its wings called Mi Mix 3. The new phone features a rather interesting solution in order to deliver edge-to-edge full-screen experience while still able to avoid having a notch on its display.

The solution comes in the form of a magnetic-based sliding body which would also reveal the phone’s dual front camera setup which consisted of a Sony IMX576 24MP sensor alongside a 2MP DOF camera. That’s not all though as users can also utilize the sliding mechanism to answer calls, access shortcuts drawer, or start a specific app.

Xiaomi claimed that the slider mechanism which utilizes neodymium magnets has a life expectancy of 300,000 cycles. As for the display itself, Mi Mix 3 features a 6.39-inch Full HD+ AMOLED panel and has a 93.4% screen-to-body ratio.
In terms of rear camera, the Mi Mix 3 is equipped with a pair of 12MP sensors alongside 2x optical zoom, 4-axis optical image stabilization system, and 960fps slow-motion video capture capability. Powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, the phone can be obtained with up to 10GB of RAM and 256GB internal storage.
Price-wise, the Mi Mix 3 with 6GB/128GB configurations will be made available for CNY 3299(about RM 1981). On another hand, the 8GB/128GB and 8GB/256GB models will go for CNY 3599(~RM 2161) and CNY 3999 (~RM 2402) respectively.
The Mi Mix 3 Palace Museum Edition which is the only variant that offers 10GB of RAM can be obtained for CNY 4999 (~RM 3002). This particular model is also accompanied by a gold statue and free data alongside an elaborate specially themed packaging. All variants will come together with a phone case and 10W wireless charger as standard.
To be available in China this coming November, its availability in Malaysia is not yet known for the time being.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018


Low fares are headed to new destinations in Australia, Japan and China as long-haul, low-cost carrier AirAsia X looks to use efficient, new planes to ramp up growth.
New Australian destinations, Japan’s Fukuoka or Nagoya as well as second- and third-tier Chinese cities are set to be the first to benefit from the influx of fuel-efficient aircraft.
Longer-term destinations could include San Francisco and Los Angeles as well as possibilities in Europe.
The airline has orders for 100 A330neos and hopes to start taking them in 2019, subject to assurances about pricing and engine reliability.
It has ordered the bigger -900 version of the plane incorporating  Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines and aerodynamic improvements such as composite Sharklet wingtip devices to boost fuel efficiency.
It is also evaluating the long-range version of the Airbus A321neo to target more destinations with a range of up to seven hours.
New services to Australia are in the pipeline and AirAsia X chief executive Benyamin Ismail confirmed he is involved in talks with authorities in Adelaide about adding the South Australian capital to the airline’s roster of Australian ports. It already flies to Sydney, Perth, Gold Coast and Melbourne.
“We’re keen on going to Adelaide,’’ he told AirlineRatings at the AirAsia’s RedQ headquarters in Kuala Lumpur this week. “I’m actually flying to Adelaide this Thursday to see the board of directors of Adelaide airport.”
Ismail said the airline could also look at destinations such as Cairns and Darwin if it decides to take on the A321neo LR.
Powered by CFM International’s LEAP-1A engines, the A321neo LR,  is due to enter service in the fourth quarter of 2018 and is designed to carry up to 240 passengers 4000 nautical miles.
AirAsia revealed in August that it was evaluating the aircraft, which would allow it to profitably serve destinations unable to support A330 services.
But for now, the main focus is the airline’s bold gamble to move its flights from Melbourne’s main airport at Tullamarine to the Avalon airport, near Geelong.
“I think that is going really, really well,’’ Ismail said. “The loads are better than I expected and I think the team over there has done quite a good job in educating people that Avalon is not down in the woods.”
Other existing AirAsia X destinations will remain as is for now, although Ismail said he could re-evaluate services to Sydney because of difficulties selling seats in the low season.
“We’ve seen essentially that outbound traffic to Australia has declined a little bit, I’m not sure why, but we’re just going to see what’s there, especially out of Sydney,’’ he said.
“Gold Coast is doing OK.
“Perth is actually our star performer. We’ve actually cut down a lot of capacity from there.
“We went from 14 to seven because that market is very competitive — there’s  Malindo, there’s MH (Malaysia Airlines) — and really we didn’t want to go into that fight.
“So we just focused on yield and moving loads up. Loads have been up and we’re making money on that route, which is great.”
Ismail said that Japan was a market in which AirAsia needed to grow and potential destinations included Fukuoka or Nagoya.
Another was China.
“I think in terms of the first-tier (Chinese) cities, we pretty much have it covered and now we’re trying to go into the second tier cities and the third tier cities,’’ he said.
The AirAsia boss said the plans were still fluid because they were subject to getting “the right incentives, the right deal, the right slots, the right timings”.
While noting flights averaging five to seven hours were a sweet spot for the airline, he did not rule out long-haul routes such as the US and Europe.
He noted aircraft would need to be reconfigured for longer flights with a bigger premium class, as much as doubling the current 12 seats, and more leg room in economy.
He downplayed London as a potential destination because of the highly competitive nature of the route but said the airline could look at potentially serving other cities such as Barcelona or Milan.
In terms of the US, Ismail said the airline’s existing route to Honolulu was “doing pretty well for us”.
“We’ve increased to daily now from four times a week,’’ he said. “I think with the neos coming in, if everything goes well, we can potentially touch San Francisco and LA and we’ll see how we go.
“It’s easier for us now because we’ve already got blanket approvals to go in so it’s great.”

BARING ALL Playboy model Marisa Papen sparks outrage by FLASHING while wearing a burka at Turkey’s famous Hagia Sophia mosque

THE Playboy model jailed for posing nude inside an Egyptian temple has now flashed for a shocking photo shoot wearing a burka inside the iconic Hagia Sophia mosque.
Belgian Marisa Papen made headlines around the world after she was imprisoned for posing naked at the Karnak Temple Complex near the Egyptian city of Luxor.
Burka-wearing Marisa Papen flashing inside the world-famous Hagia Sophia mosque
She also caused outrage with religious communities after posing nude in the holy city of Jerusalem to the backdrop of the Wailing Wall, considered one of the most important sites in Judaism.
Marisa, who describes herself as a "free-spirited and wild-hearted expressionist", has now travelled to Turkey with Australian photographer Jesse Walker for a photoshoot for his label ENKI Eyewear.
They embarked on a daring attempt to take a nude picture of Marisa in the Hagia Sophia, a former Byzantine cathedral and Ottoman mosque which is now used as a museum in Istanbul, Turkey.
Marisa said: "Unlike Egypt, we did not have a solid plan this time. No preparation at all, but endless imagination and a pretty strong foundation."
Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia mosque is Turkey’s most visited tourist attraction
Marisa describes herself as a 'free-spirited and wild-hearted expressionist'
Marisa also posed for a photoshoot in the surreal landscape of Cappadocia, Turkey
After buying a burka in the Grand Bazaar, the two headed off to the world-famous Hagia Sophia which is visited by millions of tourists every year.
Marisa said: "After waiting in a long queue to enter, we were caught off guard with the amount of security cameras there. They literally have every square centimetre covered."
Jesse added: "If you've ever been to the Hagia Sophia, you will know there's never a day without thousands of people being around at all times."
After concluding that the ideal moment to take the picture would never happen, Marisa nonetheless decided to go for it and to lift up her burka to expose her genital area.
Marisa said: "We decided to wait for a guided group and while the guide was telling his story and everyone was paying attention, it was game-time."
The Belgian model has posed naked all over the world
The daring beauty used her 'connections' in Turkey to pull off the shoots
Model Marisa Papen she is prepared to 'die for her art'
Jesse added: "It was all done very spontaneously. Inside the mosque, we were hidden in plain sight. There is also a serene calmness inside which helped
everything unfold the way it was supposed to.
"We even went back for a second time the next day because we were not happy with the initial shots.
"However, I did not feel like this was that challenging compared to the rooftop shot overlooking the Mosque. For that shot to happen, a lot of planning and coordinating went into it.
"Luckily we have some excellent connections in Istanbul, without them it most definitely would not have been possible."
Marisa sparked fury by posing naked in front of Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall
The model compares her risky photoshoots to James Bond's mission
Marisa, who has posed in other controversial shoots, said she had a lot of positive feedback form fana
However, the pair said they had a near brush with the Turkish authorities after cops visited their Istanbul hotel and interrogated staff a day after they left for another spot in Turkey.
Marisa and Jesse managed to perform a photoshoot in the surreal landscape of Cappadocia, famous for its cave-like dwellings where many people still live, but had to cancel their idea for another shoot at a historical sight due to the heightened security presence.

Marisa said: "I think the authorities knew we were in town since we took a plane there. They would not move away from us. We never had the chance to take any of the shots we had in mind."
Marisa Papen was thrown in jail in Egypt after posing for a series of nude snaps
At one point, the two said they were even followed by an armed guard constantly walking a metre behind them without uttering a word.
Marisa said: "As soon as we arrived at the location, the guy gestured that he was watching us, and then pointed to a group of armed men on the hills.
"It was like something from a movie. Jesse took a photo of one of the guys to see if they were carrying guns. They were. Serious ones!"
Even though they felt like they were followed for the entire duration of their trip, both Marisa and Jesse managed to leave the country safely.

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