Monday, November 28
GE15

Recovery of Malaysia Airlines top priority, says chairman

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KUALA LUMPUR: The Board of Malaysia Airlines is confident that the Comprehensive Collaboration Framework (CCF) will benefit both Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia by promoting synergies in many areas.

In a statement, Malaysia Airlines chairman Tan Sri Md Nor Yusof said MAS is in the process of setting up joint-venture companies for procurement and training as well as a potential maintenance service provided by Malaysia Airlines Engineering for the AirAsia fleet.

“The share swap is not part of the acute financial problems at Malaysia Airlines, it is part of the solution.

“Likewise, the collaboration agreement between Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia is not part of the acute financial problems at Malaysia Airlines. It is part of the solution,” he said.

“Malaysia Airlines must be allowed to focus on pulling itself out of its current financial crisis,” he added.

Key initiatives in the Business Plan that will be undertaken within the next six months, according to Md Nor, include strengthening revenue management, the launch of a new regional short-haul premium airline and the introduction of the new flagship Airbus A380 to the MAS fleet.

“The company also needs to strengthen its balance sheet urgently and various options are being considered.

“At the same time, we will continue to work closely with the Malaysian Government to balance our commercial instincts and financial pressures with the Government’s wider interests,” he added. — Bernama

Malaysia Airlines recorded a significant net loss of RM2.5 billion in 2011, at a crucial time when airlines globally are challenged by intense competition, high fuel costs and spreading economic instabilities.

These negative factors for the global airline industry have been building up over several years.

In the last decade, numerous national carriers have failed because of this changing environment and finding a viable and sustainable business model has been a challenge.

“Certainly, the market is punitive for those airlines on a weak footing,” he said.

The Board, according to Md Nor, identified structural weaknesses in Malaysia Airlines in early 2011 and initiated a series of proactive measures to contain losses and strengthen the company for recovery and sustained future performance.

“A key foundation stone of this plan was the August 2011 CCF involving a share swap between Khazanah Nasional Berhad and Tune Air, a collaboration agreement between Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia and AirAsia X, and a restructure of the Malaysia Airlines Board and Management Team,” he said.

Subsequent to these changes, he said, the Board and Management Team endorsed a Business Plan for the recovery and sustained future performance of Malaysia Airlines.

“This is our top priority,” he said. — Bernama