MAS inks deal with Tabung Haji

SUBANG: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) yesterday formalised a deal with Lembaga Tabung Haji to operate the latter’s haj charter flights over a two-month period starting November.

This will include 54 flights involving 13,000 passengers between Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.

MAS assistant general manager, haj and charter services Captain Nik Ahmad Huzlan Nik Hussain said the airline projected sales of about RM1.5bil from its haj operations starting from 2003 until 2013.

“This is our 10-year projection,” he said after the agreement signing ceremony.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (left) and MAS managing director and CEO Datuk SeriIdris Jala checking out samples of meals to be served on the haj charter flights

Declining to reveal how much the airline would make from the charter flights, Nik Ahmad said MAS was not “totally profit-oriented” on these flights. “Suffice to say both parties are satisfied.”

Executive director and chief financial officer Tengku Azmil Zahruddin said for the first time ever, direct flights would also operate between the Sultan Mahmud Airport in Kuala Terengganu and Jeddah.

The other locations are from Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Johor Baru, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu.

Meanwhile, Tengku Azmil said the price of oil and jet fuel remained high at current levels.

He declined to disclose what was considered an acceptable price level for both oil and jet fuel. “ We would prefer prices to be lower but as it is, we have to live with it,” he told StarBiz.

MAS has hedged 43% of its fuel requirement for this year at US$89 per barrel and 13% of 2009’s at US$95 per barrel.

As at 5.47pm local time yesterday, oil was traded at US$119.67, up more than US$1, a recovery from a three-month low registered in the previous trading session.

Jet fuel, meanwhile, was traded at about US$141 per barrel.

 MAS :  [Stock Watch]  [News]

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