WTM14: Malaysia Airlines ‘grateful for trade support’

Weng Chi Lee, UK & Ireland area manager for Malaysia Airlines
Weng Chi Lee, UK & Ireland area manager for Malaysia Airlines

Strong support from the UK travel trade has helped Malaysia Airlines (MAS) to recover quicker than hoped, its UK general manager has told Travel Daily.

Weng Chi Lee said the trade’s support had been ‘key’ to the airline’s recovery in recent months following the MH370 and MH17 incidents.

An extraordinary general meeting is taking place today which will determine whether minority shareholders support for the privatisation of the carrier, with its future strategies in the balance during the meantime.

“Until the new MAS is formed we continue to operate as usual and particularly our fantastic UK product of double daily A380 services,” he said. “We’ve seen an 80% load factor on our flights and our network has not changed; there might have been some downsizing but generally we have continued as normal. MAS is a national icon and the government recognises its importance, while in the UK the corporate sector particularly has been extremely wonderful and not left us.”

He also welcomed the news that fellow oneworld member British Airways will add flights from Heathrow to Kuala Lumpur.

“The new BA route shows confidence in Malaysia and complements our own services,” Lee said. “Joining oneworld has meant that we see more connecting traffic now particularly from North America through Heathrow and we are seeing business that we did not before.”


Malaysia, Netherlands want justice for MH17

Malaysia and the Netherlands have pledged to bring those responsible for the downing of flight MH17 to justice.

The Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Razak, met with his Dutch counterpart, Mark Rutte, during the latter’s visit to Malaysia this week. And the two leaders said they were committed to finding out who was responsible for the incident.

“We can count on Mark Rutte for his friendship and cooperation. We look forward to working together and find out what really happened to the plane beyond any doubt, and more importantly who were responsible for the incident,” Najib was quoted saying by Malaysia’s Bernama news agency.

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