Work on a win-win formula, MAS and AirAsia told

Saturday December 25, 2010

BOTH the local airlines have been urged to come up with a win-win formula to start on a strategic collaboration to compete on the global level by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

The two local airlines are AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines (MAS).

“I agree completely. They (MAS) should focus on premium travel and we, low cost. They (MAS) should not stop us from getting routes. We, AirAsia could give them all our maintenance jobs and work together on training and cargo. What a powerhouse that would be,'' says AirAsia group CEO Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes.

He went on to say that “they should not stop us from getting routes and stop their lobbyist work. All this will not make MAS competitive globally. It also goes against what the Economic Transformation Programne (ETP) is all about. The ETP supports liberalisation.''

Muhyiddin said both the airlines would need to come together strategically even if they were two competing airlines especially in the area of low cost and average air fares.

“It's always good to work together for a win-win situation. Malaysia Airlines has historically been collaborating with other airlines, for example in our code share agreements with Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Thai Airways and Garuda. We also recently signed an MoU to further enhance our cooperation with KLM, a partner we have worked with for the past 11 years,'' MAS managing director Tengku Datuk Seri Azmil Zahruddin said.

He added that “these strategic partnerships demonstrate our willingness to work with all parties in the interests of our consumers. We are certainly open to collaboration on a win-win basis for all parties. Instead of AirAsia X duplicating our routes and competing with each other rather than with non-Malaysian airlines, we are open to suggestions to partner and increase new networks to benefit both parties and for the interest of the nation.”

Muhyiddin said it was up to the management and CEOs of both companies to hold discussions.

“This is because we understand that this would be a form of business and healthy business competition that we greatly encourage,” he said following the launch of the “Teach for Malaysia” programme yesterday.

“This is because I am aware that AirAsia is still not satisfied as several routes requested by them have yet to get the endorsement or cooperation from MAS,” Muhiyiddin said.

Muhyiddin said he was confident that if these issues were discussed, the Malaysian airline companies would be able to move forward and, more importantly, be able to compete. – By B.K. Sidhu

This article is a verbatim copy of the original article from The Star.