Malaysia Airlines’ boss defends airline, cites good performance after negative reports

The national carrier was given the Best Airline in Asia Award by the International Council of Pacific Area Travel Writers Association (Patwa).

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Airlines Bhd’s (MAB) Group CEO Captain Izham Ismail today defended the airline against the negative reports surrounding the national carrier, citing its past and recent achievements and insisting the brand is still relevant.

In an internal circular addressed to all employees, Izham acknowledged that despite a “very challenging 2018”, MAB “managed to score substantial wins across the board”.

This included an increase in its customer satisfaction index and achieving solid operational stability last year.

Izham also pointed out that a recent audit by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Operational Safety Audit recorded only four findings this year, compared with 110 in 2017. This, he said, was a “remarkable turnaround” which the airline should be very proud of.

The national carrier, he added, was given the Best Airline in Asia Award by the International Council of Pacific Area Travel Writers Association (Patwa), reputed to be one of the most coveted awards in the travel industry.

“Who are the outsiders to say that we have not done any good for the country?” the circular, which is making its rounds on WhatsApp, read.

FMT has since confirmed the authenticity of the circular.

Recently, the New Straits Times quoted an aviation analyst as saying MAB’s days may be numbered and said the carrier ought to be shut down as there was no economic or financial rationale in maintaining it in its current condition.

Izham went on to remind MAB employees that they have embarked on a plan in September to remodel the business.

He also said that he had briefed Prime Minister and Khazanah chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad on the situation and that the latter acknowledged the challenges faced by the airline.

Mahathir, he claimed, stated that Malaysia Airlines is an instrument of policy and that the country needs this national airline.

Izham also said that the Malaysia Airlines brand is still very relevant despite what others may say and that the company had data to back its claim.

“Yes, there are people out there who don’t believe that we will pull it off.

“All I can say is, more than ever, this is the time we need to be united and work towards one goal, giving your best to Malaysia Airlines.”