Unions back MAS CEO Jauhari
BY B. K. SIDHU
PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) group chief executive officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya has finally secured the buy-in of its powerful unions in his efforts to turn around the carrier, which reported a loss of RM175.98mil for its second quarter to end-June 2013, sources said.
The new-found support from the unions is believed to be part of the key message that Ahmad Jauhari will deliver to the media at a noon briefing today.
Sources said Ahmad Jauhari had spent most of Monday with the heads of the eight MAS unions and associations and was successful in getting their support. These bodies would show their support for the CEO at today’s briefing, the sources said.
The hastily called briefing comes amid reports of a possible sale of the national carrier to private parties, although the Government has denied there was any such plan being hatched.
Winning over the unions is seen as a big win for Ahmad Jauhari, as they had proved to be a stumbling block in some of the previous attempts at turning MAS around.
It is understood, however, the unions have laid down certain conditions for getting their support, including the aggressive hiring of new personnel into top positions at MAS. The unions have argued that such hirings were unjustifiably bloating the operating costs of MAS.
A source said of Ahmad Jauhari’s latest move with the unions: “This is the first time he has come out to seriously engage with the unions. While this could be seen as a desperate attempt of a CEO trying to save his airline, it is also good to know that he understands that staff support in turning around the airline is important.
“The employees also want to see their airline become profitable.”
The sources added that Ahmad Jauhari told the unions that MAS would be profitbale by the first quarter of 2014.
Some analysts have said that such a scenario is likely, considering that MAS’ unfavourable aircraft leases would expire by then, and the new planes it was getting should help bring down overall operating costs.
MAS told Bursa Malaysia yesterday that its losses had narrowed to RM175.98mil for the second quarter of 2013 from the net loss of RM349.25mil a year earlier.
Revenue was up at RM3.7bil from RM3.1bil, while loss per share stood at 1.32 sen versus a loss of 4.92 sen a year earlier.
For the first six months of 2013, MAS reported a net loss of RM454mil compared with a loss of RM521mil for the equivalent period in 2012. Revenue was up to RM7.3bil from RM6.4bil, while loss per share stood at 4.41 sen versus 7.34 sen previously.
MAS reported an operating profit of RM8mil for the second quarter, which is a positive development compared with a loss of RM101mil a year earlier.
MAS said its overall traffic increased 29% and seat loads climbed to a 10-year record high of 80%. June 2013 saw the highest ever seat load factor in a month, at 84%, an improvement of 7% from a year ago.
“With the encouraging performance at the revenue generation level, we can now focus on implementing more structural improvements, including enhancing our administration and support services.
“We will continue to improve operational effectiveness in other areas such as continued improvement in our on-time performance, turn times on our aircraft, better engineering service turnaround, reducing service disruptions, precise material and inventory management, and much more, which will further contribute to the bottom line in the future,” Ahmad Jauhari said in a statement yesterday.
Publish date: 21/08/13