Malaysia: MAS keen to invite counterparts to take up equity, planning for re-listing in 2019

TOULOUSE, France (Sin Chew Daily / ANN) - Malaysia Airlines is keen to offer its equity to other airline companies in overseas prior to re-listing in 2019. The offer is seen as helping Malaysia Airlines to unlock its value prior to re-listing. 

Apart from planning for re-listing in 2019, Malaysia Airlines is keen to offer its equity to counterparts prior to listing.Malaysia Airlines managing director Peter Bellew said: “Airline companies such as Delta Airlines and Virgin Atlantic Airways buy shares of other airline companies and they gain in minority equity investments when these companies grow. It’s the trend now.”

He said Malaysian Airlines considers selling its shares to counterparts in overseas as this would not only help the airline company to grow and unlock its value prior to listing but also form a strategic partnership with those equity purchasers to have more broad base collaboration at corporate level.
However, he said currently Malaysia Airlines has not negotiated with any airline companies.

He said this when visiting Airbus headquarters to view A350-900 passenger aircraft. Malaysia Airlines is still unable to breakeven this year. It is estimated to turnaround from loss making to profit in the second half of 2018 and schedule for listing in 2019.Malaysia Airlines has managed to reduce its debt from RM1.8 billion (USD418 million) to RM438 million (USD101.8 million)

He said the first unit of A350 aircraft leased by Malaysia Airlines would be delivered in early December and it is scheduled to fly starting 15 January. Several other units of A350 aircraft would be delivered between January to July next year.“Six units of A350 are leased from the Los Angeles based aircraft leaser Air Lease Corp under a 12-year programme. Four units of A350 will be catered for Kuala Lumpur-London flights and destinations for two other units would be decided later.”The leased aircrafts replace super jumbo A380 would not be used to fly to Los Angeles. 

Malaysia Airlines is currently exploring long haul flights to two to three capitals in Europe using A350. Melbourne in Australia, Auckland in New Zealand and Tokyo in Japan are also destinations taken into consideration.He said when A330 airbus is delivered, it would assist Boeing 737 to have daily flights to Shanghai.

He said A350 is more energy efficient and emission is reduced by 25%. The aircraft is quiet and comfortable despite flying at high altitude. Passengers are able to communicate with friends and family with WIFI.Airbus currently receives order for 858 units of A350 from 40 airline companies. It has delivered 114 units since 2014. Malaysia Airline will receive its first A350 in early December.
Aircraft passengers in Asia Pacific are growing at the rate of 5.6% each year. Airbus is optimistic on the huge market share for wide body planes.

Malaysia Airlines is optimistic of China market. It sees the growth of tourists from China would be increased by three fold within next five or six years.Bellew said in the past 12 months, through collaboration with tour agencies in Malaysia, Malaysia Airlines offer joint promotion and sales in China. Online tour agents are of great help.As Malaysia Airlines is growing in China market, the airline will be rebuilding its brand in China and expected to enter a steady phase by next year. 

In early 2017, Malaysia Airlines offered flights to Xiamen, Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai. It later increased flights to Haikou in Hainan and Nanjing. It plans to fly to Chengdu, Chongqing, Fuzhou, Shenzhen, Tianjin and Wuhan next year.Bellew is confident that the airline will serve 70 million passengers this year. It will be launching four to five new flight routes next year. Details have yet to be announced. 

He said Europe market offers huge potential and Malaysia Airlines is currently negotiating with two to three airports.He said using A380 jetliner as chartered flight for haj is expected to create new business. Pilgrimage package is expected to draw crowd from China, Indonesia and Thailand. The Surabaya flight route launched next year can also cater for pilgrimage packages. 

Malaysia Airlines said by having flights to share a five to six percent of a total passenger load, it helps to offset the decline in profit margin.On the risk of increase in oil price, Bellew said he foresee that when new energy is commonly used, oil price would be suppressed in long term.Sin Chew Daily is the only invited Chinese media for the visit.


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