World

MAS' woes: Najib blames a predecessor

SEPANG: Malaysia Airlines is "about the nation" and many of the troubles the national carrier has faced were caused by a previous leader, says Prime Minister Najib Razak.

"The history of Malaysia Airlines is fraught with horrendous decisions, and it was a nightmare inflicted on the airline by one of my predecessors," he said.

He declined to elaborate.

"But I will make sure that Malaysia Airlines recovers," Mr Najib said at the unveiling ceremony of the airline's 'Negaraku' livery on a B737-800, in conjunction with parent company Malaysia Aviation Group's Hari Raya gathering at the Malaysia Airlines Engineering Complex yesterday.

Also present at the event were Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai and Malaysia Aviation Group chairman Md Nor Yusof.

Mr Najib said Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is set to be back in the black by next year as its five-year revival plan remains on track.

The national carrier was also on the path towards regaining its status as a five-star global airline thanks to this plan, he added.

Mr Najib said: "The first phase of the plan was to stabilise the company's finances, and I can confirm that this has been achieved.

"I was informed by Malaysia Airlines chief executive officer Peter Bellew that the airline is expected to be in the black by next year."

He added that the second phase of the plan would focus on improving the overall quality of aircraft and in-flight services, as well as opening new routes that would include 11 new ones to China. "As far as I am concerned, as well as every Malaysian, Malaysia Airlines is about the nation," Mr Najib said.

He said the airline's Negaraku livery would help lift the spirit of the nationalism, patriotism and unity to greater heights. 
- THE STAR

AirlineNajib RazakMahathir Mohamad