PETALING JAYA: National carrier Malaysia Airlines (MAS) will begin rationalising several unprofitable routes starting from Jan 7 in an effort to stem its losses.
The eight routes include those from Kuala Lumpur to Surabaya, Johannesburg and Rome.
Also affected are the Kuala Lumpur-Karachi-Dubai, Kuala Lumpur-Dubai-Damman, Kuala Lumpur-Cape Town-Buenos Aires, and Langkawi-Penang-Singapore routes. The exercise will be carried out in stages between Jan 7 and Feb 2.
However, the airline assured its passengers that all forward bookings ticketed to date on these affected routes would be honoured, adding that MAS would make alternate carrier arrangements at its own costs.
“The withdrawal of these flights was based on our own independent internal profitability and yield analysis.
“This accounts for almost 12% of our passenger capacity. We estimate that the ongoing route rationalisation will improve loads, increase yields and have a profit impact of between RM220mil and RM302mil for next year,” said its group CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya.
He said the rationalisation was also expected to have minimal impact on Malaysia's position as a top tourist destination in Asia because “it would work aggressively with their code share partners”.
“Through our existing arrangements with them, we will continue to promote connectivity between Malaysia and key international destinations as well as contribute towards the overall efforts by the various authorities to increase tourist arrivals.
“We also hope to return to these markets after we have stabilised our business,” said Ahmad Jauhari in a statement here yesterday.
MAS said it would continue to maintain its key destinations in Britain, Europe, Asia, Australia, Middle East, South Africa and the United States while focusing on destinations in the Asean region, North and South Asia, and Greater China.