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Tough times for MAS

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I agree with KC. MH's ground crew is the worst of them all. Never once I had any friendly or good check-in agent in KUL or PEN. Most of them seem to be unprofessional and just want to get the job done. Sometimes, there were three persons looking after the gate for 737-400 flight to PEN, when one or two should be enough. Usually the third person, who didn't have anything to do would start playing with the computer or mobile phone. Maybe MH should limit the use of mobile phone or talking among their crew when they're in uniform.

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Let's face it... MH's per capita wages are half if not less than half of SQ's or CX's.. looking at it at another angle, MH can afford to have 2 person doing

a person's job without putting much pressure on its P & L.

So the big hu ha being overstaffed is not the biggest problem in MH, .. Rather I view it to be

 

Mis direction of the company.. being too busy competing with AK, and in the process being viewed as a LCC. Remember 5 star LCC cost? 5 star value carrier? We were the first

full service carrier going zero fare until somebody realised the blunder..

Any of you remember any publicity on MH's First & Business a few years ago? MH were promoting its free baggage, aerobridge..etc..even its ads look ridiculously close to that

of AK! So is it any wonder that MH lost most of its premium passengers which brings higher margins whereas they try to fill up the EY which is low in margins and is price sensitive.

Selling an extra first class seat per flight would have paid the wages for one staff for the entire year!!

 

Slow in fleet renewal.. had they renewed its A330 fleet earlier, they could have used it for all its network which is less than 8 hours instead of the 777 which burns more fuel. Now

they are using the 777 on all these routes just because it had better IFE.. imagine the hundreds of millions of fuel that could've been saved!

 

Cancelling routes/ reducing frequency.. with all the routes cancelled, where are they going to get passengers to feed their profitable routes? Iam sure SQ and CX does not make

money on all their routes.. that is why they can still use the aging 747s yet make money. I believe these routes are used to carry passengers to feed its other profittable routes. KUL

is not a hub, our local economy is not big, not many people fly to KL as a final destination.. that is why they need to maintain a certain network and freq to maintain its revenue.

 

Bad fuel hedging policy? They can blame on the rest of the industry and what not, but the fact is it has cost the company lots of money.

 

Granted, most of the problems in MH is inherited from the past from bad management decisions since the 90's.. the staff is not entirely to be blamed, rather I am of the opinion

that MH is where it is now because the Captain and his co pilots steered the ship to a wrong path. The other crew were just doing their job keeping the ship moving. The ground staff

need to be motivated, they need to be told what to do, they need to be coached, mentored, and it is the middle management that needs to improve on their human management

skills.

On the other hand, MH seems to be going in the right direction now with its emphasis on its the front end customers.. but they must remember, going the right direction is one.. the

speed at which you travel is another. If MH is travelling at 50km/h whilst SQ and CX are travelling faster, they will still be caught behind.

All the best to MH, do hope they get it right this time..

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Slow in fleet renewal.. had they renewed its A330 fleet earlier, they could have used it for all its network which is less than 8 hours instead of the 777 which burns more fuel. Now they are using the 777 on all these routes just because it had better IFE.. imagine the hundreds of millions of fuel that could've been saved!

 

Cancelling routes/ reducing frequency.. with all the routes cancelled, where are they going to get passengers to feed their profitable routes? Iam sure SQ and CX does not make

money on all their routes.. that is why they can still use the aging 747s yet make money. I believe these routes are used to carry passengers to feed its other profittable routes. KUL

is not a hub, our local economy is not big, not many people fly to KL as a final destination.. that is why they need to maintain a certain network and freq to maintain its revenue.

 

A350 and 787 offered about 20% cheaper CASK than current models e.g. A330, 772. After A350 and 787 entered service with other airlines, expect MH to have tougher time to compete.

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Granted, most of the problems in MH is inherited from the past from bad management decisions since the 90's.. the staff is not entirely to be blamed, rather I am of the opinion

that MH is where it is now because the Captain and his co pilots steered the ship to a wrong path. The other crew were just doing their job keeping the ship moving. The ground staff

need to be motivated, they need to be told what to do, they need to be coached, mentored, and it is the middle management that needs to improve on their human management

skills.

 

Yes, that's right. When problem gets out of hand, it's the top management that carries the ultimate responsible. Not the staff, ground crews or etc.. The head should carry the cane. But in MH's case, things are a bit complicated.. Who is the actual head in the company? I doubt the CEO has free hand in managing the company.

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Let's face it... MH's per capita wages are half if not less than half of SQ's or CX's............. CX are travelling faster, they will still be caught behind.

All the best to MH, do hope they get it right this time..

 

Finally someone with a little more on his shoulders.

 

Pretty much of the problem that MH is facing today is made worse and all the more difficult to get out of by........the wonder kid Idris Jala....route/frequency cuts, 5 Star value carrier, domestic route rationalization, bad fuel hedging, deferment of fleet renewal, cuts in catering - meal box, zero advertising, zero fare, PSS, VSS .....all his. Go Idris, first MH, now the nation....

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If lower wages means being able to employ more staff than other airlines and this translates into better service ... sure, why not?

 

But if having more staff in an area than the actual number needed translates into idle chit-chat, lower productivity and actual work being ignored, how then is that an advantage?

 

In my experience where the gate was only opened less than 40 mins to departure, there were plenty of staff members in there - four MH staff plus three security men - and none seemed interested in letting passengers in the gate holdroom. A caucasian family with an elderly parent, several families with young children, lots of individual travellers, the few seats outside the gate are all occupied ... but the staff members continued with their idle chit-chat, the policeman is consumed by the game on his mobile phone ... and only when they are sufficiently amused with themselves and their gadgets did they shoot a wink at one another to open the gate at minus 38 mins for the B737-800 flight to Singapore.

 

With this logic, I imagine you could put in 20 staff members at the check-in counter at Yangon Airport ... at Suvarnabhumi Airport in BKK, you have often a check-in staff, another one standing next to him or her plus another (often a less smartly dressed guy) who takes the printed baggage tag and is solely there just to tag the bag. In more productively - and efficiently - run airports, all the check-in functions are well and courteously accomplished with just one person.

 

The operative word here is efficient and courteous service. High staff to passenger ratio is an empty promise if they could not be efficiently deployed. If Malaysian staff costs are really that low, then perhaps they should have more where MH excel - in the cabin.

 

KC Sim

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The most important thing about attracting business/premium passengers is schedules, followed by product. MAS needs to be much more aggressive in these areas. It needs to have daily flights to all its European destinations to even have a chance of attracting business passengers. As for the product, if they're not going to offer a First class, then Business class needs to be exceptional. This means flat beds at the very least. If I were a business passenger and I had money at my disposal, why would I pay similar amounts of money for an angled lie-flat bed when I could get a fully flat bed? That's what annoyed me immensely about MAS' decision to use angled lie-flat seats on the new A330s. This was a great opportunity to trump it's major GLC competitors.

 

As for the ground crews, I agree that they are the weakest link in the whole MAS service network but I do think they are improving. I have flown numerous times with them over the last 3-4 years and they have been much better than what I remembered many many years ago. I've almost always had very friendly check-in staff and interactions with staff at offices.

 

A lot of the problem at MAS is general inefficiency. This wastes a lot of money. There are too many employees, especially on the ground. Government contracts should be making lots of money for the airline, not be a free ride for them. Qantas makes a lot of money from Government contracts. Why do you think Virgin are so desperate to get a slice of that? MAS should be working towards that - being paid premium prices by the Government for their employees to fly them.

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Regarding excessive number of ground crew, on QF domestic I took, cabin crew was the one doing the scanning at the gate. On 160-capacity 737 you don't need a lot of people looking after the gate, as long as the timing is right.

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Sales chief quits as MAS revamps department after weak Q1

 

UPDATED @ 09:57:41 AM 07-07-2011

By Jahabar Sadiq Editor July 07, 2011

 

KUALA LUMPUR, July 7 — Malaysia Airlines (MAS) sales chief Datuk Bernard Francis quit the flag carrier suddenly this week, prompting the airline to revamp its sales side now facing pressure after a first-quarter loss of RM242.33 million for 2011.

 

The Malaysian Insider understands Francis’ 24-hour resignation has not gone down well with the staff and was apparently prompted by managing director Tengku Datuk Seri Azmil Zahruddin’s order to relocate all regional senior vice-presidents (RSVPs) back to its Subang headquarters in April.

 

“Arising from this latest development, another restructuring has been initiated,” MAS said in a statement to The Malaysian Insider when asked about Francis’ resignation. “Effective immediately, all RSVPs and departments under the Sales & Marketing Division will now report directly to the Commercial Director, a portfolio also held currently by the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer.”

 

The state-run carrier said the restructuring in April “was undertaken to ensure rationalisation amongst the different divisions that look at yields, network, pricing and sales.”

 

Although revenue rose by 10 per cent in the first quarter of 2011, MAS’s revenue per available seat km was flat at 17.3 sen. However, total revenue was 3.26 per cent lower at RM3.19 billion and fuel cost surged by 32 per cent or RM321 million.

 

In an internal email about the restructuring of the sales department sent out on July 5 and seen by The Malaysian Insider, Tengku Azmil noted that the carrier’s loss had upset shareholders and the performance of its share price.

 

The share price had fallen to a record lowest of RM1.38 a share on June 14. It closed at RM1.53 per share yesterday.

 

“In our last Townhall (meeting) and even during the recent Branded Customer Experience Programme (BCEP) cascade, I had informed everyone of the tough market conditions that we will be facing this year,” Tengku Azmil wrote in the email. “I had sressed that 2011 was a crucial year for us to carry out the Game of he Impossible.

 

“On 1 April a tough and drastic measure had been made by bringing back all the Regional Senior Vice Presidents (RSVPs) to Kuala Lumpur. This move was done to ensure better coordination and cooperation among Sales, Revenue Management, Network and Distribution. To date, we have not yet seen the impact of this to the bottom line.”

 

Tengku Azmil said Francis’ departure had prompted another restructuring, with all regional bosses reporting directly to him.

 

“The RSVPs will be responsible for their region to ensure that the Sales, Network and Revenue Management planning and marketing meets the overall objectives of the organisation, with a special and sharp focus on yield.

 

“Everything we do now is a matter of survival. We must, must have a sense of urgency, a sense of commitment and above all a sense of survival. Our tendency to blame other divisions or individuals for non-performance needs to change. We must all take accountability for results and work together to make this happen,” he added.

 

Francis, 41, was the executive vice-president of sales and marketing who was brought in from rival AirAsia in 2005 and promoted by MAS’s former managing director Datuk Seri Idris Jala, who is now a minister and chief executive of Putrajaya’s efficiency unit Pemandu. His contract was due to expire this December 17.

 

He had played a pivotal role in increasing sales apart from rationalising both the international and domestic routes. Francis was previously the regional director for route revenue and distribution for AirAsia Malaysia, Thai AirAsia and Indonesia AirAsia.

 

Early this month, Tengku Azmil announced MAS’s plans to rebuild its fleet with the long-awaited arrival of six long-haul Airbus A380s, plus 25 Airbus A330-300s and 45 Boeing 737-800s for regional use, with an option to buy 10 more of the US model that would cost US$8.4 billion (RM25.3 billion).

 

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/business/article/sales-chief-quits-as-mas-revamps-department-after-weak-q1/

 

First casualty or fall guy? Believe it was not easy for Datuk Bernard Francis to stay in MH for 6 years.

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Apparntly his contract was not going to get renewed, so probably decided to go..Wonder what he cud have achieve if given a free hand at running the commercial side. Seems like more changes coming..even the charter fella gone it seems..

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First casualty or fall guy? Believe it was not easy for Datuk Bernard Francis to stay in MH for 6 years.

 

 

Rationalising its corportate structure is a key step towards reducing wastage. However, given that Francis played a pivotal role in turning MH around, MH should've gotten rid of some other dead weight.

 

Anyways, on the whole, the problem with MH is that it only seems to implement stop gap measures. It covers up a whole but another one emerges. Although I do give credit to Jala who did do the correct with reducing wastage, though not always spot on. However, he simply halted the impending MH doom and to a certain extent alleviated it. However, he did not prepare MH for the future. Essentially, it was just get out of the mess you're in and we'll see what happens after that. Because of that, we're seeing other cracks emerging. An ageing fleet that is becoming inefficient and costly to maintain, plus downgrades MHs product. A shrinking route network and an alliance that came all too late, which isn't all too good with business pax. Furthermore, he failed to change the fundamentals of MH, for example its burgeoning corporate blob and ,I beg to differ, its employment structure. Given that labour costs in M'sia are significantly lower than across the causeway, MH seems to instead hire more heads. The problem with this, is that productivity goes down and you end up with below par service, which is the frequent occurance I've had with MH during my frequent SIN-KUL hops. Furthermore, if MH had the same staff ratio as SQ or CX, it could potentially spend a lot less on labour and really make a dent in cost cutting, unlike replacing mealtrays for disposable paper boxes.

 

 

With regards to fleet planning, I do agree that MH has not been sucessful at all in this department. Again, this is the legacy of Jala who differed fleet renewal and now frankly it comes quite late. MH only made plans in 2008 for the B734 and agin in 2009/10 for the A330. It has yet to make any plans for the B772 and I don't blame MH. It's simply replacing it's whole fleet in ONE SHOT! By far, this is quite a feet. However, MH should really be phasing out planes in stages as opposed to waiting and replacing all. It should've made decisions to replace its 734s earlier once it returned to profitability and the A330s as well so that at least by now it would have 15-20 B738s and approx. 7 A333s and of course now it would be making plans to refurbish its B772s and making plans to replace them.

 

Lastly, its route network. Frankly, its routes ceo sounds REALLY incompetent in the videos I've seen of the person. Though, I might just be judgemental. It's mosaic by far was a step backwards. It should've negotiated to join an alliance once it was out of unprofitability. Having an alliance is a huge advantage, espacially in the region where many operate on that basis. When I look at an FIDs in SIN and compare it to the one in KUL, the main difference, apart from the new gate nonsense (though I'd really like someone to explain that one) is that you see a lot more destinations outside SEA. In KUL you pretty much get the M'sia domestic, a fair number to CGK, DPS, BKK, SIN (of course) and the odd ones here and there to further abroad destinations. SIN has been able to grow into a hub unlike KUL. MH has not been able to utilise KUL as a hub, in part because of its lack of an aliance and its limited network reach. MH needs to make sure it has sensible frequencies for business pax and a far reaching network. It should aim to expand its Kangaroo route share. Perhaps strengthen regionals to India and so on. And, it needs to make itslef wanted by business pax. who essentially go for miles, the lounge, the frequencies and the ride itself. Furthermore, MH needs to see itself as adventurers and find new markets and grow them, like what D7s CEO at RotesAsia.

 

Tengku is in some ways doing things correctly, though he seems to be doing it rather slowly. And his best airline in Asia is really just a feel good thing. Bes in what? MH- Melepaskan Harapan or Menaikan Harapan, which will it be?

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This means flat beds at the very least. If I were a business passenger and I had money at my disposal, why would I pay similar amounts of money for an angled lie-flat bed when I could get a fully flat bed? That's what annoyed me immensely about MAS' decision to use angled lie-flat seats on the new A330s. This was a great opportunity to trump it's major GLC competitors.

 

I didnt know there is an airline offering fully flat bed on regional flights. Which one is it?

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I didnt know there is an airline offering fully flat bed on regional flights. Which one is it?

I guess he was referring to the MY-AUS market. MAS is deploying both the new and old 333 as far as Australia, Middle-East as well as North Asia that take about 6 hours and longer and these aren't exactly regional flights :pardon:

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I guess he was referring to the MY-AUS market. MAS is deploying both the new and old 333 as far as Australia, Middle-East as well as North Asia that take about 6 hours and longer and these aren't exactly regional flights :pardon:

 

Ok... I don't know much about the middle east market, but which airline is flying to Australia or north Asia with fully flat seats all the time? As far as i know, not SQ, TG, CX... ? If I am lucky, I will get SQ's A380 or 77W, but most of the time, no...

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Ok... I don't know much about the middle east market, but which airline is flying to Australia or north Asia with fully flat seats all the time? As far as i know, not SQ, TG, CX... ? If I am lucky, I will get SQ's A380 or 77W, but most of the time, no...

 

GA with its A330-200( to SYD,HKG,ICN,NRT,PEK and sometimes to MEL and PER), which used full-flat seat, rather than lie-flat seat that is being used in its A333

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And if you guys read the trip report of GA A330 (both -200 and -300) on airliners.net, GA is light years ahead in its regional and long haul products and services against MH. The only thing they need to improve now is its IFE offering.

 

GA rebirth is phenomenal, and was rewarded with four stars status recently. Reading the trip report made me wanna jump on GA for my trip to MEL end of the year. :clapping: :clapping:

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And if you guys read the trip report of GA A330 (both -200 and -300) on airliners.net, GA is light years ahead in its regional and long haul products and services against MH. The only thing they need to improve now is its IFE offering.

 

GA rebirth is phenomenal, and was rewarded with four stars status recently. Reading the trip report made me wanna jump on GA for my trip to MEL end of the year. :clapping: :clapping:

 

All GA A332s have 222 seats, and are offering full-flat bed (180') with 74" seat pitch (2 latest deliveries with B/E Aerospace seats like on its A333 but full-flat version)

Been on them and was very comfortable. They regionally serve ICN, NRT, HKG, PEK and SYD, apart from long hauls to DXB and AMS.

A333s have all been refurbished, capacity reduced from 295 to 257, and are offering lie-flat seats by B/E Aerospace (170') also with 74" seat pitch, and are serving PVG, KIX, NGO and MEL.

IFEs are now gradually being improved, it started with 25 blockbusters only but now it's 52 blockbusters updated monthly.

Edited by psidarta

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I've been on MH old and new A330s and 777s, and just like me,

I think many other will agree to say that as of today, they do not beat GA on products and services.

After those experiences on them, honestly, I'd rather be splashing an extra USD20s for a much better product to China on GA or an extra USD50s to be on SQ.

Let's not talk about the 737s. Sadly I have to say that even the B734s operated by GA's LCC Citilink beats MH's B734 hands down in terms of comfort.

I'd gladly choose any AK/QZ's on short hops than paying more for the products I'll get on an MH short-hop.

 

So let's not always talk about TG, SQ or CX as the 'same-level' competitors.

Others are silently but surely making their leaps too.

I would say, if GA keeps its level of consistency, and work harder to improve their marketing, website content and booking system, many will be left wondering which is the actual 5-starred carrier.

I have to agree with those to say they are going to be the Oman Air of Southeast Asian region.

 

That said, they are not definitely there yet, but with the continuous aggressive upgrading, it's a just matter of time.

Really sorry for MH, there is definitely no harm to admit that serious catching up needs to be done.

Real Soon Mr.Azmil.

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All GA A332s have 222 seats, and are offering full-flat bed (180') with 74" seat pitch (2 latest deliveries with B/E Aerospace seats like on its A333 but full-flat version)

Been on them and was very comfortable. They regionally serve ICN, NRT, HKG, PEK and SYD, apart from long hauls to DXB and AMS.

A333s have all been refurbished, capacity reduced from 295 to 257, and are offering lie-flat seats by B/E Aerospace (170') also with 74" seat pitch, and are serving PVG, KIX, NGO and MEL.

IFEs are now gradually being improved, it started with 25 blockbusters only but now it's 52 blockbusters updated monthly.

 

Hey psidarta. Thanks for the very detailed info.I was looking at GA website a roundtrip to MEL thru Jakarta was RM2,029!! Something wrong with the booking engines?? I am looking forward to board GA A330-300!! :yahoo: :yahoo:

 

I've been on MH old and new A330s and 777s, and just like me,

I think many other will agree to say that as of today, they do not beat GA on products and services.

After those experiences on them, honestly, I'd rather be splashing an extra USD20s for a much better product to China on GA or an extra USD50s to be on SQ.

Let's not talk about the 737s. Sadly I have to say that even the B734s operated by GA's LCC Citilink beats MH's B734 hands down in terms of comfort.

I'd gladly choose any AK/QZ's on short hops than paying more for the products I'll get on an MH short-hop.

 

So let's not always talk about TG, SQ or CX as the 'same-level' competitors.

Others are silently but surely making their leaps too.

I would say, if GA keeps its level of consistency, and work harder to improve their marketing, website content and booking system, many will be left wondering which is the actual 5-starred carrier.

I have to agree with those to say they are going to be the Oman Air of Southeast Asian region.

 

That said, they are not definitely there yet, but with the continuous aggressive upgrading, it's a just matter of time.

Really sorry for MH, there is definitely no harm to admit that serious catching up needs to be done.

Real Soon Mr.Azmil.

 

Agree. Totally...MH is half baked cake like what it used to be. If MH wants to be 'non-stop to the top', they should have roll out much more competitive products and services. 30" J class on B738 for regional flights IS not part of it~~~~ :finger:

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So let's not always talk about TG, SQ or CX as the 'same-level' competitors.

Others are silently but surely making their leaps too.

I would say, if GA keeps its level of consistency, and work harder to improve their marketing, website content and booking system, many will be left wondering which is the actual 5-starred carrier.

I have to agree with those to say they are going to be the Oman Air of Southeast Asian region.

 

 

GA has recently posted losses during the Q1 2011, so I'd expect a fair bit of cost cutting. However, despite this, GA is in someways in a better position then MH and that is they're riding on the growing Indonesian economy that continues to buldge, hence making their CGK hub more lucrative for other carriers as well to flock to. Right now, MH needs to set its priorities right. A 5-star value carrier is frankly, unworkable. MH needs to target business pax. and upper end economy pax., because ultimately such passengers provide financial weatlh for full service carriers. MH does not have the ability to compete with LCCs, simply because it isn't one. After all, FY is its LCC. To do so, it needs to good products, comparable with the likes of other carriers if not better, great miles, which is good that they've joined one, a better MH!!!! network, not slapping codeshares everywhere. MH should leverage on lower operating costs in M'sia, given the country's lower wages etc., to entice people for a good deal with comparable if not better products, and not compare things to LCCs (free food, airbridge, what rubbish!!) However, will MH deliver, that remains to be seen. Judging from Mr. Azmil's rhetoric, I think only partially. He doesn't seem to realise that SQ and TG are in alliances not to develop their hubs into tourist hotspots, but for business pax. and the like!

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GA has recently posted losses during the Q1 2011, so I'd expect a fair bit of cost cutting. However, despite this, GA is in someways in a better position then MH and that is they're riding on the growing Indonesian economy that continues to buldge, hence making their CGK hub more lucrative for other carriers as well to flock to. Right now, MH needs to set its priorities right. A 5-star value carrier is frankly, unworkable. MH needs to target business pax. and upper end economy pax., because ultimately such passengers provide financial weatlh for full service carriers. MH does not have the ability to compete with LCCs, simply because it isn't one. After all, FY is its LCC. To do so, it needs to good products, comparable with the likes of other carriers if not better, great miles, which is good that they've joined one, a better MH!!!! network, not slapping codeshares everywhere. MH should leverage on lower operating costs in M'sia, given the country's lower wages etc., to entice people for a good deal with comparable if not better products, and not compare things to LCCs (free food, airbridge, what rubbish!!) However, will MH deliver, that remains to be seen. Judging from Mr. Azmil's rhetoric, I think only partially. He doesn't seem to realise that SQ and TG are in alliances not to develop their hubs into tourist hotspots, but for business pax. and the like!

 

They almost always post losses in Q1, and are traditionally making up for the losses at the 3rd and 4th quarter.

Haven't see them visibly cutting cost though, magazine getting thicker, new planes keep coming, blanket wide, thick and warm, etc. Hopefully not.

I heard the only reason why they still have not begun their internet-on-seat and use-your-phone on board service is the indonesian government who always seem to take forever to issue their permit.

The airline and the aircrafts are ready for the technology.

 

Was listening to a few interviews with their CEO, they're never going to cut fares to almost zero as that very factor is considered one of their biggest mistake of the past.

They will be playing in their league and try to market itself as a full-service carrier.

I think that's the key, all about attitude and seriousness.

 

I really think it's only good for MH to start looking at VN and GA as serious competitors.

SQ, TG or CX are way too far ahead, while AK is playing a different league and should not be considered direct competitor.

Less slogans more actions please.

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That is interesting - so I should spend my money on GA instead of SQ.

 

 

Depends on your tupe of travel. Business pax. remain loyal to SQ and the likes because of its mileage and overall network outreach. Personally, I will probably not make GA my primal mode of airline travel even once it's in Skyteam simply because I want to avoid Skyteam carriers as much as possible (AF/KL/DL)and most of my long-haul travel is to Europe or N. America where I've got LX or CO with Star Alliance (SQ) or BA with OW (CX). But it really depends on you yourself, both are comparable now, I'd imagine.

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