Side Views

Rebuilding the nation’s flag carrier together — Malaysia Airlines

MARCH 23 — We refer to your article published on 21 March 2012 entitled, ‘PM sparked MAS-AirAsia deal, not the cuts, says MASEU chief’ and wish to clarify some of the points raised and at the same time provide Malaysia Airlines’ perspective on the matter.

As the Nation’s flag carrier, Malaysia Airlines acknowledges the guidance of the Prime Minister YAB Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Abdul Razak in reshaping the Malaysian aviation sector in preparation for the ASEAN Open Skies 2015 policy.

Given the realities of the business environment faced by Malaysia Airlines, a Business Plan is being implemented in stages aimed at restructuring the National flag carrier to a stronger financial footing and to ensure the Company’s long-term sustainability.

The Business Plan announced in December 2011 calls for Malaysia Airlines to be divided into long haul and short haul operations to maximise efficiencies, reduce non-profitable routes or services, adopt a relentless cost focus and empower subsidiary businesses that have the potential for growth as independent entities, amongst others. Since the announcement, the Company has started implementing these initiatives.

One of the key initiatives is the starting of a new short haul airline which will involve the recruitment of manpower to be mainly derived from our existing workforce, albeit under performance-based policies as successfully implemented by our wholly-owned subsidiary Firefly. 

In your report, MASEU’s spokesperson made several representations relating to the recruitment process and the prospect of cuts in salaries and benefits for employees who opt to join the new short haul airline outlined in the Business Plan. 

These representations in no way accurately reflect a true perspective of the Company’s intentions.  

Firstly, it is inaccurate to describe the process of joining the new airline as a ‘bulk transfer’. It is actually an option open to all Malaysia Airlines Group and subsidiary employees to submit applications for positions in the new airline. This option is without prejudice to employees who do not wish to participate, preferring to remain as Malaysia Airlines employees.

Secondly, it is misleading to suggest that Malaysia Airlines requires employees to resign first. The process described below clearly demonstrates the recruitment process.

Like in all other recruitment processes, Malaysia Airlines employees were invited to apply for positions in new airline. Short-listed candidates will then be invited for a formal interview. Successful candidates will be offered employment under Terms and Conditions of the new airline, including salaries and benefits. Upon accepting the offer from the new airline, successful candidates will then be required to tender their resignation to Malaysia Airlines.

A case in point: over 850 Malaysia Airlines employees submitted applications to join the new airline, within a week of the internal notification for a broad variety of positions. 

The Company remains committed to engaging with our stakeholders including employees and unions as we believe the initiatives under the Business Plan will make Malaysia Airlines a better place to work and provide greater career advancement opportunities for our employees.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified.



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