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Malaysia Airlines To Set Up New Carrier For Haj Flights

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KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB) plans to start a new charter flight service for the annual haj and umrah in Saudi Arabia.

Its Group Chief Executive Officer, Peter Bellew, said the carrier would apply for a licence in the third or fourth quarter of the year and charter six Airbus A380 jetliners from Malaysia Airlines.

“The new carrier, which would operate as a separate entity, is expected to be operational in a year. Rather than leaving them grounded while waiting to be sold, it is best that we make full use of the aircraft,” he said on the sidelines of Invest Malaysia Kuala Lumpur 2017 here today.

He said MAB was currently in talks with potential investors for the new carrier.

“The airline is currently recruiting staff for its new carrier,” he said.

Bellew said he would be the acting CEO until the carrier found a suitable candidate.

On MAB’s turnaround plan, Bellew said, plans to make Malaysia Airlines the pride of the nation again was doable if managed properly as the company has a pool of people who were able and qualified to take over from him.

The former Ryanair executive and director of Kerry airport expected revenue from MAB’s China business to contribute 20 per cent to the airline’s revenue over the next two to three years, from between eight and nine per cent presently.

“This is in line with the increasing inflow of Chinese tourists to the country,” he said.

He said Japan and India held tremendous potentials for MAB.

“The national carrier is also actively looking at the possibility of resuming its Amsterdam route in the future,” he said. – BERNAMA

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