Thursday, February 3, 2011

First batch of Malaysian students in Egypt to arrive in Jeddah by midnight tonight - 3 February 2011

After 30 years in powers, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is the most hated figure in Egypt

Mass riots by Egyptians, demanding Mubarak to end his 30 years rule, dominated the world media headlines.

Well it is not easy to evacuate 11,000 Malaysians in Egypt. However OPS PYRAMID is expected to bring all Malaysians out of Egypt in 4 or 5 days.

The plan is to transport all Malaysians out of Egypt via 5 aircrafts, 3 military aircrafts (C130 transport plane) and 2 commercial aircrafts (a MAS Boeing 747 and an Air Asia Airbus A 340) as well as a Malaysian Navy Ship (Bunga Mas 5).

All those Malaysians will be evacuated from Egypt to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia as transit point before going home to Malaysia.

News source - Bernama The Malaysian national news agency - 3 February 2011.

The first two planes operated by Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia, carrying about 600 Malaysian students from Egypt, are expected to arrive in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia by midnight today, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said.

The Malaysia Airlines plane, a Boeing 747, and the AirAsia Airbus A340 plane left KL International Airport early this morning for Cairo.

"As soon as these planes arrive there, we will arrange to fly out the first batch of Malaysian students and we hope, if everthing goes well, they will arrive in Jeddah by midnight tonight," he told reporters, here today.

Anifah said the three C-130 transport aircraft belonging to the Malaysian air force, which left for Jeddah yesterday, would start flying out Malaysian students out of Egypt tomorrow morning.

"These three aircrafts need to cease from activity for 24 hours before resuming the normal flying activity.

"That's why these planes can only start operating shuttle service tomorrow. Altogether the three Malaysian air force planes could carry up to 750 passengers," he said.

Anifah said the Malaysian embassy in Egypt was working round-the-clock to ensure the mission to bring home Malaysian students from the troubled country, would run smoothly.

He said the situation, particular in the vicinity of the Malaysian embassy office in Egypt, was under control, saying it was located from away from the troubled Tahrir Square in Cairo.

Anifah said he would monitor the situation and the evacuation process very closely in view of the prevailing situation there. -- BERNAMA

Meanwhile Air Asia has come out with a statement on the Mercy Flight to Egypt.

February 2, 2011 – AirAsia will be sending one A320 aircraft to help bring Malaysians in Cairo to Jeddah. AirAsia’s team will be headed by our Deputy Group CEO, Dato’ Kamarudin Meranun. AirAsia will make 3 trips daily between Jeddah and Cairo covering 6 sectors on 3rd and 4th February 2011. The first flight is scheduled to depart from LCCT Kuala Lumpur at 2.00 p.m (GMT+8) to Sharjah, UAE today.

Deputy Group CEO, Dato’ Kamarudin Meranun said “Our hearts goes to the Malaysians who are stranded in Cairo. As a true responsible Malaysian company, we feel obliged to render our assistance in times like these. We would also like to thank Wisma Putra and the fellow AirAsians for all their hard work in helping put together these mission flights.”

As of 7th February 2011, AirAsia successfully flew 2,380 Malaysians affected by the situation in Egypt.

AirAsia operated eight rescue flights from the Egyptian cities of Cairo and Alexandria to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. The airline also operated one rescue flight from Jeddah to Kuala Lumpur.

The world’s best low-cost airline has been operating the rescue flights from February 3 to today 7th February 2011.

AirAsia flew 1,200 guests on three flights using its A340 aircraft from Cairo to Jeddah and around 860 guests on five flights using its A320 aircraft from Alexandria to Jeddah.

It also flew 320 guests on its A340 aircraft from Jeddah to Kuala Lumpur, the initial batch of guests to be flown to Malaysia.

Dato’ Kamarudin Meranun, Deputy Group CEO of AirAsia, said, “AirAsia shares in the responsibility of seeing to the wellbeing of Malaysia. We are aiding the nation in its time of need, doing our part to ensure the safety of Malaysians. We were especially concerned about the students, who are away from their families. AirAsia is closely watching the situation in Egypt to determine whether to mount more rescue flights."

AirAsia's operations was led by Dato' Kamarudin, who also got on the flight to Jeddah.

AirAsia has actively extended its services to help people and communities in need, especially those in the ASEAN region. It mounted rescue flights from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur in November 2008 to help people stranded by the social unrest in Bangkok. It also mounted rescue flights between Padang and Jakarta in October 2009 to help those affected by the 7.6-magnitude earthquake that hit Sumatra island.

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