Malaysia Airlines turnaround on track, says CEO

Malaysia Airlines turnaround on track, says CEO
A new beginning: Staff members gathering to welcome the Airbus after it landed at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

SEPANG - National carrier Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is optimistic that it will be able to pull off its recovery plan.

Its group chief executive officer Captain Izham Ismail said the five-year plan to make the airlines profitable was on track.

"The Government, the stakeholders, the OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and even the citizens of Malaysia are very hopeful that Malaysia Airlines will turn around into profitability soon.

"We are not out of the woods yet. We have lots of work to do, and 14,000 employees of MAB are working very hard to turn around this organisation.

"In time to come, Malaysia Airlines will be the pride of the nation.

"The airline's focus is not only to make money, but to be the icon of Malaysia, something that Malaysians can be proud of," said Captain Izham after the welcoming ceremony of the first Airbus A350-900 here.

Malaysia Airlines has six A350-900s on order and Captain Izham said they will arrive in stages until March next year.

The A350-900 will fly the Kuala Lumpur-London service beginning Jan 15 next year.

The A350-900 departed Airbus' facilities centre in Toulouse, France, and landed at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at noon yesterday.

Also at the welcoming ceremony were Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani and Malaysia Aviation Group chairman Tan Sri Md Nor Yusof.

Johari said MAB would be the first company to enjoy the "big ticket" Goods and Services Tax (GST) exemption, which was announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in Budget 2018.

Malaysia is the first country in ASEAN to have A350-900s.

Malaysia Airlines' A350-900 has a total of 286 seats and is the first in Asia to feature a first-class cabin.

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