PETALING JAYA: New Malaysia Airlines chief executive officer Capt Izham Ismail says "it is an honour and a big responsibility" to be at the helm of the national carrier.
"My entire career has been spent with Malaysia Airlines and it is very much my family.
"Helming the national airline is a big responsibility. I am humbled and at the same time, ready for the challenge.
"We are on track towards a full and complete transformation as outlined in the MRP (12-point MAS Recovery Plan), and I am looking forward to working with my MH colleagues to make this airline the pride of the nation again,” he said.
The Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) and Malaysia Airlines Bhd announced the appointment of Capt Izham as CEO and executive director in a statement on Friday.
Capt Izham (pix above), presently chief operating officer, will assume the new role on Dec 1 upon the departure of Peter Bellew who is currently on administrative leave. Bellew has taken up a position at Irish airline Ryanair.
Appointed to a management position just 10 years after joining Malaysia Airlines, Capt Izham has climbed through the ranks over the years, including as Senior Instructor Pilot, Fleet Manager, and Director of Operations.
Prior to becoming COO in 2016, he served as CEO of MASwings, Malaysia Airlines’ sister company in Sabah and Sarawak.
Capt Izham has also been integral to the airline’s ongoing turnaround effort.
As COO, he was responsible for the operations division, which includes flight and airport operations as well as engineering.
"He led the restructuring of the engineering division for more efficient and leaner operations, and was also responsible for the airline’s fuel savings initiative," MAB said in a statement.
Capt Izham has logged 38 years of experience in the aviation industry, having started his career with Malaysia Airlines as a pilot in 1979.
He broke world aviation records when he flew Malaysia Airlines’ first B777-200 eastward from Seattle to Kuala Lumpur and back.
The flight set new world records for longest flight and fastest round-the-world flight by a commercial airliner, with a total flight time of 41 hours 59 minutes over a distance of 23,310 miles.