Jul 21, 2016

    Job cuts over at Malaysia Airlines


    THERE will be no more staff and route cuts for Malaysia Airlines (MAS) but a period of refinement with lower fares for economy class as it tries to regain market share lost over recent years.

    MAS will add six to seven destinations next year, mostly flights to north Asia from KLIA2, Sabah and Sarawak.

    With passenger loads below 70 per cent, chief executive Peter Bellew said in his first media briefing since his appointment over two weeks ago that "we need to aggressively push our product".

    "We have got better in our purchasing, handling cost is 50 per cent lower, catering cost is 20 per cent lower and fuel 5-6 per cent lower."

    MAS has cut 6,000 jobs and shrunk its network by 30 per cent. The focus ahead is to get high-paying customers to fill the front end of the plane.

    Cabin refurbishment and upgrades in service quality are under way.

    Mr Bellew also wants to cater to the price-conscious customer amid a competitive landscape so that he can also fill the rest of the plane.

    He said MAS would remain a full-service international carrier, competing with the likes of Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines, but offering "relatively lower fares".

    It will become more "generous with our frequent flier points, especially for business travellers as we have not been doing that".