By NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
MALAYSIA Aviation Group (MAG) is on an active recruitment drive to increase its number of staff and crew to meet all the requirement that would support its aim to break even next year.
A spokesperson of its wholly owned subsidiary, Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB), said half of the new hiring for the year is for crucial positions, including pilots, cabin crew and engineering personnel, after years of attrition.
“Most of our new hires in the executive and above category are with background from aviation, professional and consultancy services, as well as the financial industry,” she told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR).
TMR previously reported proactive steps were being taken by the company to address the attrition issue, including merging and upgrading flights to fill in the lack of Boeing-737 pilots, on top of recruiting and training.
She said the group is continuously creating job opportunities for young talent.
“Of the new hirings, 75% are below 30 years old, while over 15% are graduate trainees from our targeted on-the-job training programme who have been employed within the group,” she said, adding that 60% of them are women.
“This is in line with the national aspiration to have more women in the workforce,” she said.
TMR previously reported that Khazanah Nasional Bhd has injected RM1.6 billion for restructuring and retrenchment costs, out of the RM6 billion budgeted for the airline group’s 12-point recovery plan.
The recruitment drive is part of the company’s key initiatives to drive its revenue by improving customer experience, product quality and operational excellence, while maintaining a productive and competitive cost base.
Group CEO Captain Izham Ismail said in the report that the company is leveraging on digitalisation to minimise fuel volatility effects, thus introducing SkyBreathe, a solution by OpenAirlines to analyse flight data recorders to assess a flight’s efficiency.
For the year’s second quarter (2Q), MAB registered a “steady year-on-year (YoY) performance” with a 2% increase in revenue per available seat kilometre.
The steady results were said to be on the back of better capacity management and leveraging on the fleet type’s flexibility to navigate operational constraints.
Among the pressures reported by the company were escalating fuel prices, foreign exchange volatility and overcapacity in the domestic market, which led to a worldwide pilot shortage.
Khazanah projected for the airline group to break even by the end of 2017, but this has been unofficially revised to the latest target — the first half of 2019.
The plan was introduced in August 2014 to hoist the carrier back into profitability, of which the airline has taken several measures since, including the appointments of three CEOs, a name change, consolidation of its operations from the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, and the retrenchment of 6,000 employees.
This was caused by two aircraft tragedies exeperienced by Malaysia Airline System Bhd (MAS) in the same year — MH370 and MH17 — which subsequently led to MAS (now defunct) reporting a loss of RM750 million, 65% lower versus the previous corresponding period.