MAS to use KLIA2 for some leisure flights

Peter Bellew

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Airlines will move some leisure flights to the cheaper KLIA2 terminal next year, the airline’s new chief executive, Peter Bellew, said yesterday.

Bellew, on his first day as MAS boss, said the savings would result in lower fares for travellers.

Staff were told at open meetings that new routes would be opened to new Asean destinations from various Malaysian airports, and that MAS would also focus on marketing itself globally again, according to a news report.

Bellew was MAS chief operating office under the previous chief executive Christoph Mueller, who was appointed to stem years of losses at the national airline.

Mueller known to be an airline turnaround specialist, announced his departure last month, with two years remaining on his contract. He went on leave from yesterday prior to his official departure on Sept 1.

Among measures he took was to lay off about 6,000 staff and review all supplier service contracts. Before his departure, Mueller said MAS had recorded a profit in February and was on track to be profitable by 2018.

Bellew, former director of flight operations at the European low-cost carrier Ryanair, said plans for the turnaround of MAS would proceed.

He told staff that cutting costs would be a priority. “Each and every cost would be minutely checked daily without affecting any quality,” he said in his first media statement, according to Star Online.

Moving some flights to KLIA2, where costs are lower by RM33 per passenger or RM5,412 per flight, would result in savings of almost RM2 million a year for one daily flight.

He also called for a focus on the customer. “From choice of seats to the quality of nasi lemak to the time of travel, we need to ensure the needs of each guest with different individual preferences is met,” Bellew said.

Bellew said as part of the turnaround, the focus would be “to fly smarter, reduce costs, fix all that needs to be done and ensure succession planning” with a large group of Malaysians trained in the next three years to leading the airline through to 2030.

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