MALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) will not face major disruptions in its service or expansion plans although some pilots and co-pilots have left the carrier, said managing director Datuk Ahmad Fuaad Dahlan.
“It would be wrong to say we are falling apart. That is not true. We are mindful of this (development) and are taking care of it.
“We have made an offer to the pilots and co-pilots and we hope they will consider our proposal, for we believe it is a reasonably good one,” he told reporters after commissioning MAS' B747-400 flight simulator in Subang yesterday.
He said the proposal was made after considering the airline’s budget and expenditure. It is believed that MAS is offering a 25% wage rise, among others, via the pilots' association.
Five per cent of its 1,200 pilots left last year and several others are reported to have left in the past three months. The pilots are said to be leaving MAS for better perks and incentives, especially from airlines operating out of the Middle East.
But staff pinching is not unique in the airline industry and this is not the first time that MAS has experienced an exodus of pilots and co-pilots.
Fuaad said migration and attrition was a “normal thing” for an airline and in MAS' case, more co-pilots than pilots had left.
Reports have suggested that MAS has had to delay a flight because of the problem and some are speculating that the carrier would not be able to expand as fast as it wants with so many pilots leaving.
“We are not in a situation that all 1,200 have left. There would be some who migrate or leave as everyone has a sense of where he wants to go but it is not that there is no esprit de corps or teamwork. We are talking (with the pilots and co-pilots) and are responsive to it (the situation),” Fuaad said.
He added that MAS had growth and business plans. These involved expanding its business which had registered strong growth last year.
He said given that kind of momentum, the airline had planned its development after taking into account its network expansion and manpower requirements.
“We are looking at our readiness, and organisational readiness is very critical to the build-up. We cannot just panic (over the resignations) when we (want to) grow,” he said.
MAS plans to recruit more pilots, and Fuaad said about 50 foreign pilots were expected to join the airline over the next two months. The airline would also be recruiting 300 young people to be trained as pilots.
The airline is also expected to set up its fourth flying academy at its Subang premises to meet the growing demand for pilots.
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