SEPANG: Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB) is expected to start making profit next year, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.
Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said he was informed of this by MAB chief executive officer, Peter Bellew yesterday.
“The first stage (restructuring of Malaysia Airlines) focuses on stabilising MAB’s finances and that has been achieved.
“In my discussions with Bellew, he said he expects MAB to be in the black hopefully next year,” he said at the Malaysia Aviation Group’s Hari Raya celebration yesterday.
Najib said the focus now was on the second phase of the MAB’s restructuring involving new routes, including 11 routes from China.
He said this phase would also look at ‘product depreciation’ aspects such as in-flight cuisine, flight entertainment and the quality of the aircraft.
“Today, I was told that you are well on your way to achieving the second phase of revival for MAB,” he said.
With these measures, Najib said, Malaysia Airlines would be able to regain the Skytrax five-star rating by next year.
According to him, when the decision was made to restructure the national carrier involving a reduction of about 6,000 workers, he had instructed Khazanah Nasional Bhd to be as humane as possible.
At the event, Najib also called on every MAB officer to continue to be dedicated and committed to the success of the company.
“As far as I’m concern and many Malaysians, we do not look at MAB as just an ordinary airlines. MAB is about the nation, it’s our icon, our pride and joy. We must make sure Malaysia Airlines will recover and become one of the leading airlines,” he said.
In conjunction with the event, Najib also launched Negara-Ku livery on the Malaysia Airlines’ B737-800 aircraft.
The B737 aircraft, the first of several to display the national flag, will be flown and be made visible across international flights below seven hours such as to Shanghai and Perth. — Bernama