KUALA LUMPUR: His hobby is the extreme sport Ironman Triathlon but it did not really prepare Malaysia Airlines (MAS) chief executive officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya for his ultimate test.
Last year, he had to endure two back-to-back air tragedies – the disappearance of MAS Flight MH370 and the downing of MAS Flight MH17.
Ahmad Jauhari said it was a hard time for MAS because the tragedies brought a detrimental effect, as hundreds of lives were lost.
“I suppose that helps me to be on my feet a bit longer,” he told Bernama in a special interview.
Ahmad Jauhari, 61, a United Kingdom-trained engineer shared how his enthusiasm for the extreme sports competition helped him to cope and manage the double crisis.
Flight MH370, which carried 227 passengers and 12 crew members, disappeared from the radar while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, about one hour after departing from the KL International Airport on March 8, last year.
Four months later, Flight MH17 was shot down in Ukraine while flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on July 17. All 298 passengers, including the 15 crew members, died in the incident.
Ahmad Jauhari has taken part in four Ironman series since 2003, the last being 2009.
The Ironman Triathlon is a harsh and gruelling race as it consists of a 3.86km swim, a 180.25km bike race and a marathon that covers 42.2km – without a break. Normally, it takes about 17 hours to complete.
On his future undertaking, Ahmad Jauhari said he wanted to take a rest before considering any option to continue his service in the aviation industry after his contract with MAS expires in September. – Bernama