KUALA LUMPUR: Khazanah Nasional Bhd remains supportive of the ‘cash-positive’ Malaysia Airlines Group (MAG) and has no immediate plan to dispose of its shareholdings in the airline group.
Managing director Datuk Amirul Feisal Wan Zahir said the current focus is to ensure that MAG, the operator of national carrier Malaysia Airlines, is in a stronger position and has a sustainable operation with greater customer experience in order to stand on its own feet to compete with other airlines.
"I would prefer to get the airline in a stronger position before we even consider that (foreign strategic partnership). Once it's on a stronger footing, I think the options are much wider.
"So, rather than just be fixated on one solution, get the airline sturdy for the future and the options are maybe we might keep it (MAG), maybe we might look at alliances. The options are wide,” he told a media briefing after announcing Khazanah’s 2022 financial performance here, today.
Amirul Feisal also applauded MAG group chief executive officer Captain Izham Ismail and his team for seizing the moment during the crisis - fixing the balance sheet, fixing the cost structure, changing the whole cultural discipline of how to run the airline efficiently - thus ensuring that there is a focus on getting the whole airline profitable.
He believes that MAG is already in the profitable trajectory, as per the requirement under the Business Turnaround Plan, wherein Khazanah committed new capital of RM3.6 billion to the group to fund the business through 2025.
"The team has actually built a business that has been improving and we want to make sure they have the assets to ensure that the (customer) experience is good.
"Hence, we are looking at the delivery of replacement aircraft and when that comes in, then we will have a stronger airline,” he said, citing that the sovereign wealth fund expected the first delivery to take place next year.
Amirul Feisal said a total of RM1.3 billion fund has been drawn down to date, leaving the airline group with plenty of room for growth.
Khazanah is the sole shareholder of MAG. It took the airline private in 2014. - Bernama