KUALA LUMPUR: National carrier Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAS) may go but its identity, exemplary service and hospitality must be retained, says the Prime Minister.
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said while the government was willing to sell MAS, its identity as the country’s national carrier must be retained.
The government, he added, had introduced various changes to restore the company.
“We have been making changes to MAS but each time we make a change, it fails. This time, we have to be more careful in the steps we take to resuscitate MAS,” he said.
Dr Mahathir was responding to the call by the Malaysia Airlines Retirees’ Association for an overhaul of the carrier’s management after its failure to reach the top 20 in an international survey on airlines for the fifth year in a row.
The association also offered to help revive the loss-making airline and return it to its “glory days” by providing expert advice.
They also claimed that Malaysia Airlines, which dropped two spots from 36th place in Skytrax’s annual World’s Top 100 Airlines survey, had lost its class.
Dr Mahathir said it would take more than a change of management to revive the national carrier.
“It’s not just the change of management. Lots of other things are wrong with the airline, which have to be corrected,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the 33rd Asia Pacific Roundtable.
In March, he said several local and foreign firms had expressed interest in buying Malaysia Airlines.
But he added that the government was studying options for the financially troubled airline.
Meanwhile, the National Union of Flight Attendants called on the Malaysia Airlines management to step down following the national carrier’s failure to reach the top 20 in the World’s Top 100 Airlines survey again.
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