17 Oct 2017
The National Union of Flight Attendants (Nufam) said chief executive officer Peter Bellew had served his purpose, following the announcement of his departure from Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and return to Ryanair.
Nufam claimed the plan was to have Bellew ink the aircraft purchase with Boeing, adding that a new CEO would not need to be answerable for the controversial deal.
“With a new CEO coming into MAS, he will not need to answer for anything now,” the union said in a statement today.
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had during his visit to the US last month pledged that MAS would purchase US$10 billion to US$20 billion in aircraft from Boeing, raising concerns as to whether the airline was deviating from its recovery plan.
MAS had on Sept 13 inked a memorandum of understanding with Boeing to purchase eight wide-body 787 Dreamliners, and eight narrow-body 737 MAX planes.
Nufam warned that MAS, which is only just turning around following the twin disasters of flights MH370 and MH17, was at the risk of suffering more losses when the planes are delivered, due to the high maintenance costs.
He also noted MAS planned to start a hajj chartered flight service, which was not part of its recovery plan.
“MAS’ Airbus A380 aircrafts will be used for the hajj period but what about the other months? Where will the planes fly to?
“Will that not burden the airline further with the higher maintenance cost? Opening up a new airline just to cater to the hajj season is just a waste of resources,” he said.
Khazanah Nasional Berhad had in 2015 taken over MAS in a bid to rescue the company. It was delisted on Bursa Malaysia.
Nufam reminded Putrajaya that Khazanah is a state-owned entity that handles public funds.
“All they know now is to allow MAS to spend unnecessarily and continue to buy more expensive new ‘toys’,” it said.