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Master Plan To Faciliate MAS' Restructuring As Soon As Possible

[ 20-08-2014 ]
Master Plan To Faciliate MAS' Restructuring As Soon As Possible
BATU PAHAT, Aug 9 (Bernama) -- The government through its strategic investment fund, Khazanah Nasional Bhd, will draw up a master plan as soon as possible to facilitate the restructuring of Malaysia Airlines, said Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah.

He said the government was confident the restructuring would not only be able to reduce losses sustained by the airline but also place the company on the road to recovery.

"We will come up with the master plan as soon as possible. We have already studied all of it, loss-making airlines have restructured into new entities. We will look at their best practices," he told reporters here after opening the Parit Sulong Umno division's delegates meeting.

Ahmad Husni was commenting on the delisting of MAS from Bursa Malaysia in a move to undertake a massive restructuring exercise.

He said no time frame has been set for MAS to return to profitability and the delisting would facilitate any quick or drastic decision making as the government held 100 per cent shareholding in the company.

Prior to this, several decisions involving MAS had to obtain the approval of minority shareholders.

Ahmad Husni also said despite MAS' poor financial performance the airline was enjoying a high passenger load.

However, MAS' level of return-per-passenger was below par due to factors such as low margins due to cheap tickets as a result of the stiff competition in the airline industry.

MAS is a national strategic asset and it involved the rebranding of the country's national airline which flew in tourists into the country.

Under MAS' proposed restructuring plan, the most important factor would be the efficiency of its operations and return to profitability path within a specified time frame.

"It (the airline) has to be efficient," he said, adding that leased aircraft were in the process of being returned as they were not fuel efficient. Cost efficient aircraft would be leased instead.

Asked if the restructuring would entail staff lay off and hiving off of subsidiaries, Ahmad Husni said it was too early to speculate.

-- BERNAMA