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MAS eyes new routes to China, India

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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is currently eyeing new destinations in the region, particularly in China and India, said its group CEO, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya.

He said the national carrier was bullish about growth in the regional airline market and would offer the right value proposition to the customers.

“Obviously, we have to take advantage of it amid competition from the other airlines and low-cost carriers,” he told Bernama.

At the same time, Ahmad Jauhari said MAS’ community airline, Firefly, planned to fly more routes into Indonesia, Singapore and south Thailand.

He said MASWings, which provided air services between Sabah and Sarawak, was looking at opportunities in Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area.

“We will make the announcement once we got the aircraft and study the traffic,” he said, adding that MAS has to react quickly whether there was a demand or not.

Ahmad Jauhari said the Asean’s “open skies” policy, which would come into force in 2015, was about open competition.

“The policy will keep airline companies on the same level and you are no longer bounded by national policies. It will also encourage more travel and competition which is good for the consumers,” he said.

masHe said the daily A380 KL-Paris-KL flight service beginning next month has received positive response.

“People prefer to fly with A380. That seems to be the preference,” he said.

On Air France-KLM decision to serve KL-Paris route starting April 23, he said they were free to implement their plan as MAS did not have any form of code-share with them.

“We’ll compete by demonstrating we can do better than them,” he said.

He said MAS was trending in the right direction in terms of business and the way the business has developed so far.

“Our business plan seems to show positive result including the fourth quarter results.

“All initiatives under the plan are to boost revenue through right fare, product, service, frequency and destination in order to manage cost,” he said.

On the oneworld pact, Ahmad Jauhari said the impact would be felt this year.

He said based on the experience of other airlines it has been positive.

“They have a few percentage points up depending on the networks, the people and where you are,” he said.

On the air cargo business, Ahmad Jauhari said it would be slightly better than last year’s soft market.

“We are not the only one complaining, everybody is doing it.

“Cargo is very much dependent on the economic activities and of trade mainly out China to the US or Europe and Asia, vice versa,” he said.

BERNAMA

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