KUALA LUMPUR: Low Cargo Air Gun AirAsia Group Bhd is considered a successful air carrier that can save Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB) national carrier from "dying," says veteran journalist Datuk A. Kadir Jasin.
He pointed out that AirAsia already has an element similar to MAB, which is his long-term hand, AirAsia X Bhd.
– They have AirAsia X flying all the way to Jeddah and many other places like Japan, South Korea and China, so they have that experience.
"Of course, their cost structure is different, so they have experience, but can they take the MAB and turn it into AirAsia, or keep the MAB as a full cost airline, that is for anyone who is interested in MAB," he said. bernama recently.
Kadir responded to the question of whether AirAsia could work at the same time with a full-fledged airplane and a cheap airplane, after suggesting that his MAB had "married" AirAsia earlier than last Friday on his Facebook platform, "but it's a good idea to let the iconic brand die."
"There is an airline in Europe that operates airplanes and cheap air carriers, and many other major airlines in Europe and the United States have tried to have cheap airlines, but overall it was not successful," he said.
To recapitulate, in December 2007, the German airline Lufthansa bought a 19% stake in JetBlue Airways and signed a code-sharing agreement with the airline company.
This was the first major European cargo investment in US carriers since the US-US Open Sky Agreement entered into force in 2008.
However, in March 2015, Lufthansa sold its stake in JetBlue.
Meanwhile, Kadir in his post on Facebook on Friday also noted that AirAsia had "married" to MAB before invoking their stock exchange contract on August 9, 2011. But the job was short-lived after eight months.
Kadir expressed the opinion that the proposed MAB-AirAsia replacement contract failed in the end because the proposal was not well designed and faced with great public opposition.
"Well, that was a few years ago, and the situation changed, and we saw that the government is trying to do a lot of things to revive MAS, unfortunately the general feeling is that MAB is not really revived, so something has to be done about it," he said.
But whether AirAsia will be successful in running MAB as a full-time air carrier, and if there is a real interest of a budget airline company, MAB should really give due attention to this issue, he added.
Executive Director of AirAsia (CEO) Tan Sri Tony Fernandes earlier stated that there is no plan for a low-cost airline company to buy MAB because it is more likely to be transformed into a company under the leadership of technology.
Asked if AirAsie and MAB's marriage would raise concerns about monopoly in the local aviation industry, Kadir said he believes there will be an element of monopoly or duopoly between AirAsia and Malindo Airways in the short term.
"But these days airline companies are not easy to master the prices because price fixing is a fix and I think we now have some form of guarantee in the form of fair trade.
"However, I am quite confident in competing between two companies, prices will not be as cheap as the competition between three companies or more," he added.
Meanwhile, Air Force analyst Shukor Yusof of Endau Analytic, when contacted, said it is unlikely that Fernandes will currently be taking over MAB.
"As Tony Fernandes said publicly, his plate is already filled, at this stage I do not see why AirAsia takes over MAB," Shukor said.
In his blog called Singapore Airlines Investing in Malaysia Airlines? Recently, Shukor said MAB lost more than 2.4 billion RM ($ 580 million) between 2015 and 2017, although the Khazanah Nasional Bhd 2014 sovereign fund has a generous lifetime of 6 billion RM.
"Earlier this week, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad commented that it is not opposed to selling MABs if the government finds customers who could truly turn to a soothing carrier and his Malaysian identity remain intact," he said.
The topic of MAB's sale reappeared on covers after Mahathir, also president of Khazanah, announced two weeks ago that Malaysia was willing to consider selling a national carrier if there was a good deal for the company.
The Prime Minister initially raised the issue in March this year, saying the government is considering whether to close an airline, sell it or refinance it, after MAB remained red in the past year due to several factors including shortage of crews in the second half years. since 2018.
The idea of closing an airline, however, caused complaints from various quarters, including the former Prime Minister of Databar Najiba Abdul Razak and the Chief Executive Officer of MAB Captain Izhama Ismail.
The national carrier reported losses even before the Flight MH370 and Flight MH17 fired.
In 2014, he presented a five-year recovery plan to turn the company into a return to profit by 2018.
However, it missed the goal in the midst of a challenging business environment, not thanks to solid competition, rising fuel prices, unfavorable exchange rates and crew shortages. – bernama