Reconsider plans to operate from klia2, group tells MAB

Syed-Hussein-Al-Habshee.

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) should rethink and abandon plans to operate some of its flights from klia2, a leading business group said today.

National Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (NCCIM) Secretary-General Syed Hussein Al Habshee said in a statement that MAB, as a full service national carrier, has to be cautious in operating from klia2, as it can “result in negative consequences”.

“The klia2 facility is a hub for low-cost airlines. Any move to use this facility will cause confusion among passengers as to which terminal is exclusive to Malaysia Airlines, and the more strategic consequence will be the deterioration of its brand status,” Syed Ali said.

It would also cast aspersions on MAB’s focus to regain its foothold and to reinvent itself as a top-notch full-service premier airline as well as give an impression that it is trying to downgrade part of its operations to a budget or low-cost carrier status, he added.

“MAB’s threshold benchmark should be no less than those found in our immediate Asean neighbours – Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways,” Syed Ali said.

The statement from NCCIM comes in the wake of MAB’s newly-minted Group Managing Director and CEO Peter Bellew’s remarks last week that he intends to move part of the national carrier’s operations to klia2 to cut costs.

He is to officially replace Christoph Mueller on Sept 1.