New Malaysia Airlines to adopt hybrid model, says CEO

  • Business
  • Wednesday, 10 Jun 2015

Up for sale: Malaysia Airlines aircraft seen on the tarmac of KL International Airport. The carrier is seeking buyers for some of its fleet, including its Airbus A380.

MIAMI: Although Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB) will be a full service carrier, there will be a certain amount of flexibility where it does not offer full services for certain routes, according to chief executive officer Christoph Mueller.

“For example there are certain markets which are more travelled by business travellers, whereas there are certain markets which are more frequented by travellers visiting their relatives,” he said during International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) 71st AGM yesterday.

Thus, for example, the full service will still be provided for routes that are frequented by business travellers or longer in nature.

Mueller said this flexibility would be incorporated into MAB’s business model.

“So you may call us a hybrid model, in fact. We will serve the markets that we find. Demand is very individualised,” Mueller said during the CEO panel discussion moderated by CNN business correspondent Richard Quest.

Last week, Mueller said the new MAB would be a full-fledged international airline, instead of being regionally focused as earlier stated.

When asked by Quest whether there had been any interest so far from potential buyers for MAS’ Airbus A380 aircraft, Mueller said: “Yes, there have been interest.”

MAS is seeking buyers for some of its fleet, including its Airbus A380 aircraft. This is part of a new management strategy to reduce overall operating and financing costs. The company is looking to breakeven by 2018.

The new MAB will start on a clean slate on Sept 1.

In the last few weeks, MAS’ 20,000 workforce received letters of redundancy. Some 14,000 employees are anticipated to be reemployed at the new MAB.

On the issue of safety following the spate of airline tragedies last year, Mueller said the ability to track airplanes in the industry were already there.

“The industry can track planes for less than US$1,000. These things can be ordered over the Internet. The solutions we are talking about are cheaper than a business class seat,” he said.

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