Malaysia Airlines aims to soar from Anfield link
A NEW fuel hedge, aggressive plans for China and a branding tie-up with football club Liverpool are among efforts being taken by new chief executive Peter Bellew to boost Malaysia Airlines (MAS).
At a media briefing, he said in the midst of rising oil prices, it had hedged 60 per cent to 70 per cent of its fuel requirements for the next 12 months.
But it was MAS' announcement that it had become Liverpool Football Club's official global airline partner that dominated the briefing.
The club is one of the most followed, with a fan base of over 770 million globally.
Mr Bellew declined to disclose the exact amount to partner the English Premier League side, merely adding that "it is less than 10 per cent of MAS' annual advertising and promotion budget".
However, the benefit and exposure MAS would get from the tie-up would be tremendous, he added.
"Additionally, the partnership will go a long way in increasing awareness of Malaysia as a tourist destination to a huge global audience," he noted.
Liverpool FC chief commercial officer Billy Hogan said the club and Malaysia share a special passion for football.
"When we visited Malaysia in our pre-season tour in 2011 and 2015, the reception was incredible."
The tie-up is a three-year partnership, providing MAS with benefits, including LED and static board brand exposure at each home game at Anfield and exposure on the Liverpool FC website, publications and Facebook page.
The airline also has access to players to be featured as ambassadors and in all related communication materials.
Mr Bellew expects a spike in passenger traffic from Britain and China with the deal.
China is a market he wants to tap into, given the growing appetite of the Chinese for travel.
At the moment, MAS flies to Beijing and Shanghai.
He also expects passenger loads to increase from the current level of 69 per cent to 80 per cent in 18 months.
ASIA NEWS NETWORK