KUALA LUMPUR — Jan. 18, 2018: The weak ringgit is delaying Malaysia Airlines’ recovery by between six and 12 months.
According to Khazanah Nasional Managing Director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar, when the restructuring plan for the national airline was made, the ringgit was expected to trade between RM.390 and 3.95 against the US dollar.
But last year the ringgit hovered around RM4.40 against the dollar, translating directly to about half a billion to the bottom line of the airline in a negative way.
Nevertheless, Azman said the recovery plan was still operating within the expected time frame and the airline was expected to break even by year-end or at the latest, by the first half of next year.
“When we issued it (recovery plan) three years ago, we targeted the airline to be listed or about to list by 2019, and profitability is one of the criteria to be listed,” he said at Khzanah’s annual review.
Azman said that MAS has improved in terms of recovering costs, growing revenue and regaining customers’ confidence.
“If you look at 2017, our load factor was one of the highest in the market and last year was also used to rebuild the brand and regain our customers.”
Two of the markets where Malaysia Airlines was most affected by the loss of customer confidence, Australia and North Asia, are now the airline’s strongest markets. — Bernama