Malaysia Airlines is taking off in market share

Peter-BellewPETALING JAYA: Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAS) is recovering its share of the travel business, after being hit by two flight tragedies and serious debt and management problems.

Chief Executive Officer and Group Managing Director Peter Bellew said the airline had regained a higher percentage in some popular routes such as the Kuala Lumpur-London market.

“We have about an 8 per cent market share on the London route and have seen a general increase in market share of 3 per cent and 4 per cent in other routes generally,” Bellew told The Star.

Bellew attributed the improvement in market share to an aggressive sales push, along with advertising campaigns.

“We saw over the last few weeks that the amount of money we spent on advertising, we were getting back 10 to 20-fold more… it is a no-brainer, and in the leisure business, you have to spend money to bring in money,” Bellew added.

“So, we are going to advertise more, be it traditional or new media. We want to tell the world we are back to offer a better travelling experience,” he added.

Bellew, however, said that while the airline would be busy pushing sales, operational changes in areas that needed improving and cost cuts would continue, without cutting the headcount.

He plans to revamp the sales and marketing units to get higher loads.

In order to utilise the airline’s fleet more efficiently, he plans to launch at least three to six more new routes to Japan, Korea, China and Asean from the KL International Airport, Kota Kinabalu, Penang and Kuching.

He plans to adjust airfares so that yields will improve without losing out to the competition.

“It is about having the right average fare and we need to adjust the fares continuously. So, we are literally tracking the fares on an hourly and daily basis and taking steps to adjust them. We have seen a significant improvement in passenger yields,” Bellew told The Star.

Bellew said Malaysia Airlines would continue to work with travel agents. He has already met several agents.

There would be a need to tweak the pricing of fares to get the yields the airline wants, according to The Star report.