SEPANG – AirAsia Bhd is looking for possible areas to collaborate with Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB) in response to a statement by new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Christoph Mueller yesterday to seek collaboration with the low-cost carrier and other potential partners.
AirAsia Group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said both companies had already entered into discussions but it was still in the early stages.
“In reducing the cost, it will be a great thing if the two of us can make a regional power house in maintenance, repair, overhaul (MRO)…that’s great and make sense.
“We have to put our planes somewhere for maintenance and why not do it in Malaysia and do it with MAB,” he told the media after AirAsia’s annual general meeting here today.
He said if that happens, both airlines would reduce their cost and most importantly, through their volume, they could offer services to third party airlines globally and make Malaysia as the bigger MRO centre and more jobs would be created.
Other than the MRO, he said the company was also looking for other opportunities to collaborate with MAB, including airport ground handling, cargo and many others.
In the meantime, Fernandes also urged Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) to embrace technology to help reduce cost in the aviation industry.
“Airports outside Malaysia are moving very fast in embracing technology and helping airlines to reduce cost and they are being very proactive on that,” he said.
Airports in Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia, he said, were far ahead of Malaysia’s airports right now.
“Other airports in the region are responding quicker. This is home-based and we are the largest low-cost carrier and Malaysia should be the number one leader in low-cost travel. We need MAHB to be proactive in helping us,” he added. – BERNAMA