Malaysia Airlines turnaround plan
Airline to retain full-service model, pursue market share gains and improve ASEAN proposition. Read More »
Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is waiting for government approval of its turnaround plan. CEO Izham Ismail told the Malay Mail the plan was submitted and would be reviewed by July. Other media have said the plan has yet to be formally submitted.
Ismail told the Mail MAS would remain a full-service carrier but needed to “renew and restructure our ASEAN business proposition” in a market that is dominated by LCCs.
MAS is effectively job creation programme, he said. “Malaysia Airlines might not be profitable, but organisations, stakeholders and companies that provide services to Malaysia Airlines are profitable,” he said.
Ismail is open to foreign investors but also cautioned MAS should retain local majority ownership. “Do we sell hundred per cent of shares to them? Because that’s equivalent to shutting down Malaysia Airlines,” he told the Mail. He also seemed to caution investors, saying: “Are you brave enough to take on the liability of Malaysia Airlines? You’d be so stupid.”
At the International Air Transport Association (IATA) World Air Transport Summit earlier this week, Japan Airlines president (JAL), Yuji Akasaka, said JAL had signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a joint venture with MAS and said his airline would be interested in deepening the partnership.
Malaysia’s prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad recently floated the options of closing the airline or selling it, both of which Ismail opposes. “Shutting down Malaysia Airlines would be a wrong move. This is my personal opinion, not the views of the organisation, the shareholders or its board of directors,” he told the Mail but said restructuring MAS would be “super tough”.