MAB to decide on buying planes by year-end

Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB) is expected to decide on the purchase of new or second-hand aircraft by the end of the year, said its CEO Peter Bellew.

He said even though aircraft manufacturers, Airbus SE and Boeing Co, were offering some improved deals on aircraft during their visit to Kuala Lumpur in the last couple of days, they were still “not good enough”.

Furthermore, he said there were attractive offers on second-hand aircraft, which were relatively new, wide-body and equipped with WiFi.

“I am still not happy with the prices (offered by Airbus and Boeing) and we will continue to negotiate with them, try to get better prices. (When) buying aircraft, you should buy for the long term.

“We will continue the discussions. I expect we will have a decision at least by the end of the year, if not sooner,” he told reporters.

Earlier, Bellew attended the launching of MAB’s first in-house Innovation Lab — iSpace by Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau at its Flight Management Building, Kuala Lumpur International Airport yesterday. iSpace is part of the airline’s continuous efforts towards digital transformation to becoming a digital airline.

In another development, Bellew said MAB is in the second phase of its information technology (IT) transformation, which covers three key components: Technology, business and digitalisation, and this is expected to be completed by June next year.

He said the successful implementation of IT is key to the airline’s success especially in improving customer experience and overall operational efficiency.

“Currently, I’m happy to share that we have almost completed 70% of the overall planned IT transformation. The transformation began in March last year and is expected to be completed by June 2018,” he said.

Meanwhile, Madius Tangau hoped MAB will grow from strength to strength by leveraging innovative technologies to provide more experiential and seamless travel for customers. — Bernama