Malaysia Airlines Shutdown Would Affect 400,000 People: CEO
Investvine, A Company of Inside Investor, Ltd.
Jun 03, 2019

A potential shutdown of Malaysia’s national carrier Malaysia Airlines would directly and indirectly affect 400,000 people, the company’s CEO Izham Ismail said in an interview with Malay Mail.

Besides 13,500 staff at stake of losing their jobs, a closure would affect jobs at third-party service providers, ticket vendors, airport operators and others in the aviation industry.

“Shutting down Malaysia Airlines would be a wrong move. This is my personal opinion,” Izham said.

“Malaysia Airlines might not be profitable, but organisations, stakeholders, companies that give services to Malaysia Airlines are profitable, and that that itself is a GDP positive,” he added.

He also said that a closure of the airline would “cost a lot” and be “painful.”

His comments come as back in March, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said the government was considering whether to shut, sell or refinance the carrier due to its ongoing problems to become profitable.

In its earlier turnaround plan, Malaysia Airlines had targeted to return to profit in 2018. However, it missed this target, with 2019 being equally challenging, attributing it to stiff competition, rising fuel prices, adverse foreign exchange rates and crew shortage.

The airline said it is working towards narrowing its losses in 2019 through a series of revenue improvements and cost rationalisation initiatives.

Going forward, Izham said that the airline will focus on its long-term business plan. He revealed that this may involve strengthening its premium services and a renewal and restructuring of its Southeast Asian business.

Izham also urged investors and partners to come onboard and help turn the carrier’s fortunes around. One of those could be Japan Airlines, with which Malaysia Airlines is looking to collaborate on cargo, airport ground handling services and knowledge transfer of staff.

Future partners for the struggling carrier could come from outside the Oneworld alliance, of which Malaysia Airlines is a member, or even from outside the industry, Izkam said.

He noted that a turnaround plan would be submitted in July to sovereign wealth fund and sole shareholder Khazanah Nasional Berhad and would require the approval of its chairman Mahathir Mohamad.

- ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution

Company Investvine, A Company of Inside Investor, Ltd.
Contact Imran Saddique