AirAsia could take over Malaysia Airlines: reports

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Airasia Could Take Over Malaysia Airlines: Reports

Malaysian low-cost airline AirAsia Group could come to the rescue of ailing national carrier Malaysian Airlines after discussion on highest government level indicate such a possibility, according local media reports, including by The Edge Markets and New Straits Times.

A group of businessmen led by former AirAsia Group chairman Pahamin Ab Rajab is said to have met Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on July 3 to express their interest in helping the government turn around the struggling national airline. During the meeting, the group had sought the approval of the premier to conduct due diligence in order to find “the right solution.”

Essentially, Malaysia Airlines may be put up for sale and possibly taken over by AirAsia unless a feasible turnaround plan for the airline comes up. insiders say.

Pahamin, who retired from his position in 2008, has already been considered as a contender for the chairmanship of Malaysia Airlines and its parent company Malaysia Aviation Group, following the resignation of Mohammed Nor Md Yusof in March 2019.

Last month, Mahathir stated that Malaysia was willing to consider selling its national carrier on the condition that the company receives “a good offer.” Mahathir stressed, however, that before considering sale offers, the government must first ensure the potential buyer would be “capable of managing the airline well,” in view of past failings.

“We have changed the leadership of Malaysia Airlines many times, each time we were hoping they would do something to turn around the company but they failed… The government needs to be very careful about choosing the buyer,” the Prime Minister was quoted as saying by national news agency Bernama.

Among other various options that could be considered for the revival of Malaysia Airlines, Mahathir said, would be another restructuring plan, changes in the executive leadership or a cash injection by the government. Nevertheless, the best option for now, according to the Premier, would be selling the airline for the said “good offer.”

Although Malaysia Airlines is the country’s flag carrier, it is by far not the leading airline neither in its home market nor the region. AirAsia – together with its affiliates in Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan and India and the long-haul operations of AirAsia X –, on the other hand, is the largest low-cost carrier in Asia by passenger numbers. The two airlines also differ in their business models, which would be a major question point, if AirAsia were indeed to take over the national carrier.

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Malaysian low-cost airline AirAsia Group could come to the rescue of ailing national carrier Malaysian Airlines after discussion on highest government level indicate such a possibility, according local media reports, including by The Edge Markets and New Straits Times. A group of businessmen led by former AirAsia Group chairman Pahamin Ab Rajab is said to have met Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on July 3 to express their interest in helping the government turn around the struggling national airline. During the meeting, the group had sought the approval of the premier to conduct due diligence in order to find “the right...

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Airasia Could Take Over Malaysia Airlines: Reports

Malaysian low-cost airline AirAsia Group could come to the rescue of ailing national carrier Malaysian Airlines after discussion on highest government level indicate such a possibility, according local media reports, including by The Edge Markets and New Straits Times.

A group of businessmen led by former AirAsia Group chairman Pahamin Ab Rajab is said to have met Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on July 3 to express their interest in helping the government turn around the struggling national airline. During the meeting, the group had sought the approval of the premier to conduct due diligence in order to find “the right solution.”

Essentially, Malaysia Airlines may be put up for sale and possibly taken over by AirAsia unless a feasible turnaround plan for the airline comes up. insiders say.

Pahamin, who retired from his position in 2008, has already been considered as a contender for the chairmanship of Malaysia Airlines and its parent company Malaysia Aviation Group, following the resignation of Mohammed Nor Md Yusof in March 2019.

Last month, Mahathir stated that Malaysia was willing to consider selling its national carrier on the condition that the company receives “a good offer.” Mahathir stressed, however, that before considering sale offers, the government must first ensure the potential buyer would be “capable of managing the airline well,” in view of past failings.

“We have changed the leadership of Malaysia Airlines many times, each time we were hoping they would do something to turn around the company but they failed… The government needs to be very careful about choosing the buyer,” the Prime Minister was quoted as saying by national news agency Bernama.

Among other various options that could be considered for the revival of Malaysia Airlines, Mahathir said, would be another restructuring plan, changes in the executive leadership or a cash injection by the government. Nevertheless, the best option for now, according to the Premier, would be selling the airline for the said “good offer.”

Although Malaysia Airlines is the country’s flag carrier, it is by far not the leading airline neither in its home market nor the region. AirAsia – together with its affiliates in Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan and India and the long-haul operations of AirAsia X –, on the other hand, is the largest low-cost carrier in Asia by passenger numbers. The two airlines also differ in their business models, which would be a major question point, if AirAsia were indeed to take over the national carrier.

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