KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 15 – Khazanah Nasional Bhd is open to proposal from the private sector to participate in Malaysia Airlines’ (MAS) restructuring plan, but stressed the ailing airline would not be stripped off. Managing director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar said the government investment arm had received 34 proposals from various parties for the restructuring of MAS and it was seriously looking at a few of them which fit the airline’s restructuring plan.
“We are being open with regards to the proposals but breaking up is not part of the 12-point MAS recovery plan,” he told reporters at Khazanah’s 11th annual review here Wednesday. He said the other criteria to be considered in the proposals was transparency which included the prove of funding.
Azman said the MAS recovery plans had outlined the right-sizing of the 4,400 contracts under the airline and the number of staff. “We will look at all of them (contracts) and decide which ones we want to bring over and which ones we want to renegotiate,” he added. Azman also revealed that the new MAS CEO, Christoph Mueller, would begin his tenure on March 1, when his tenure with Irish airline Aer Lingus ended on Feb 28.
The current MAS CEO, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, will remain with the airline until July 1, when a new company is slated to be operational to take over the operation of MAS. Meanwhile, on the outlook of MAS’ operation this year, Azman said MAS would benefit from the weakening crude oil prices. He also added that most of the take up for MAS’ routes had recovered to the pre-MH370 tragedy.