7 December 2014
Newly-appointed CEO knows of strategies required to make a full-fare airline work, says AirAsia chief
He believes that the appointment of Christoph Mueller, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Ireland’s Aer Lingus Plc, as the head of the MAS new company will bring “light at the end of the tunnel”.
“MAS can become profitable. It is a good brand and has a great market. I think Khazanah Nasional Bhd is very serious about making MAS profitable and is putting a lot of work into it.
“The management should focus on its market and price accordingly.
“I hope the restructuring leads to a profitable airline which, like AirAsia, can stand on its own without taxpayers’ and Khazanah’s support.
“Mueller has done good for Aer Lingus. He knows what are the strategies required to make a full-fare airline work. I think the appointment is great,” he told Business Times, here, recently.
MAS is saddled with RM12 billion debts and yearly finance charges of more than RM400 million.
Parent company Khazanah is privatising MAS and the last day of trading for MAS shares is Friday.
Fernandes hopes the new MAS will not spend money on wasteful competition with AirAsia.
“I do expect some crossover between AirAsia and MAS but, really, we operate in different markets.
“We both need to look at ways and collaborate where we can. There can be healthy competition as the market is big enough for both of us. We should define each other’s markets and collaborate on things which are non-competitive, and contribute to a healthy tourism and aviation-related market.”
“I would be lying if I said I was happy with klia2, but I am philosophical and we have got to move on and make the most of it.
“The appointment of Datuk Badlisham Ghazali as MAHB boss is a breath of fresh air. I hope he has the courage to make dramatic changes to help klia2 grow to become the ‘Dubai of the East’.
“Let’s work together and learn from each other. I hope Badlisham will work with us so that Malaysia wins. This is not about MAHB or AirAsia. I think we have wasted an opportunity with klia2… but we can build from it,” he added.
Original Source: www.nst.com.my
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