National carrier Malaysia Airlines has been implementing several measures to gain a bigger market share in anticipation of the 2015 ASEAN open skies policy, says Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Aziz Kaprawi.
He said the measures included forging strategic alliances with several regional airlines.
"MAS has formed code-sharing alliances with Silk Air, Singapore Airlines, Royal Brunei, Thai and Philippines airlines. It has also purchased 47 Boeing 737-800 aircraft which can serve destinations of up to six hours' flying time.
"All these efforts will enable MAS to reap record profits in the long run," he said in response to Sim Tze Tsin (PKR-Bayan Baru).
He said among the benefits of the open skies policy were that it would liberalise traffic rights, provide flexibility for airlines to expand their networks, allow them to increase flight frequencies and provide service to new routes.
"The policy also enables airlines to determine fares according to the market without having to obtain approval from the authorities. However, it will also result in excess supply which can affect MAS' financial standing," he added.
Aziz said profits enjoyed by airlines including MAS might also take a dip due to competition over fares, adding that prominent airlines would have an edge over smaller ones.