Last August, MAS’ major shareholder Khazanah Nasional Bhd agreed to swap shares with AirAsia’s major shareholder, Tune Air Sdn Bhd, which saw Khazanah getting a 10% stake in AirAsia and Tune Air a 20. 5% stake in MAS. Khazanah also agreed to acquire a 10% stake in AirAsia X, AirAsia’s long-haul budget affiliate. A collaborative agreement was also signed that aims to realise savings and increase revenue in the areas of aircraft purchasing, engineering, ground support services, cargo services, catering and training among the three airlines.
Today, some aviation experts and analysts believe that the deal was nothing more than an exercise that wowed. “The plan has been, since the first days of the share swap, to sell off the crown jewels including its self-supporting engineering and air cargo units. It is the only way to save the organisation, but it’s questionable if there will be a freestanding MAS in the end. And if they can only sell things that are solid moneymakers, what are they left with after its restructuring is complete? an analyst asked. A stripped-down MAS will also face pressures from many different sources. What’s the way forward? One way is to redo everything. Hire professionals from a neutral third party who have proven success in running an airline. “And the person can be a foreigner. Why not? One good example is Carlos Ghosn, who became CEO of Japan’s Nissan Motor Co Ltd and successfully turned around the loss-making firm,” said the airline executive.
INTRODUCTION In 1953, a new dream took shape - to air-link the vast South Asian subcontinent by a single, modern, and efficient airline. The then Airline was Indian Airlines. It has many firsts to its credit, including introduction of the wide-bodied A 300 aircraft on the domestic network, the fly-by-wire A 320, Domestic Shuttle Service and Walk-in Flights. Its unique orange and white logo ...
The 46-year-old Brazilian had also previously worked in turnaround situations at Renault in France and at Michelin’s US operations. Still, it may be too late to scrap the share swap. “There is already too much integration between MAS and AirAsia. For example, there are former AirAsia personnel who now hold key positions in MAS,” said the airline expert. Thus, merging the two airlines may be the only way forward or MAS will keep losing money. This means one full-service airline and one low-cost airline under one company, much like MAS and Firefly.