KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Airlines Bhd is chasing against time to come up with a strategic plan to turn around its financial performance which was further impacted by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Khazanah Nasional Bhd managing director Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said on Tuesday the sovereign wealth fund was awaiting details of the plan and it would provide its input.
“Quite clearly there’s time pressure. They need to figure it out as soon as possible but we leave it in their hands.
“They have to figure out the plan and present it to the shareholders,” he said.
Khazanah is the sole owner of Malaysia Airlines after taking it private in 2014.
“We will see what assistance we can provide to help them with the plan. But it will take some time to work out.
“The crisis is very difficult for all airlines, anything travel or aviation related. Just like any other airlines, they will have to come out with a plan to manage that,” he told several reporters including StarBiz on the sidelines of Invest Malaysia 2020 here.
“The problem with Covid-19 is most people don’t have a clear idea on what the future is going to look like in terms of travel and demand and honestly, a lot of people are just using assumptions at this point of time.
“It’s unprecedented in terms of the crisis to the whole industry and therefore, I think it will be a real challenge to really understand how consumer behaviour is going to change in the long term as well as how demand is going to change,” said Shahril.
Airlines's financial performances had been battered by the pandemic which saw countries imnposing lockdowns and travel curbs and bring global passenger air travel to almost a halt.
On Monday, AirAsia Group Bhd posted a net loss of RM803.85mil in the first quarter, compared with a net profit of RM96.09mil a year earlier.
“The loss was attributed to a shortfall in revenue amidst impacted travel demand, higher maintenance and overhaul costs by 54% due to the accounting impact from the change in aircraft ownership (MFRS137), loss on settlement from fuel hedging amounting to RM110mil and fair value loss on derivatives of RM270mil, ” said AirAsia.
It posted revenue of RM2.31bil in its first quarter ended March 31,2020, compared with RM2.73bil in the previous corresponding period, amid increasing and unprecedented travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
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