SOLYMONE BLOG

MAS IN PARTNERSHIP TALKS WITH QANTAS

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 16 — Malaysia Airlines said today it is in talks with a number of airlines including Australia’s Qantas Airways on possible partnerships amid the global economic downturn.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Idris Jala said the state-owned carrier aims to “pursue strategic partnerships to create additional value” under its business transformation plan.
“We are in talks with a number of airlines, including Qantas. This ranges from joint ventures and code shares to interlining partnerships,” he said in a statement.
“More details will be announced as and when we have finalised the terms of any of these partnerships. At this stage, we have no further comment,” he said. No further details were immediately available.
Qantas recently launched merger talks with British Airways but a deal may be tough to reach amid foreign ownership constraints in the Australian carrier.
The Malaysia Airlines’ statement followed comments by Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak that the national carrier was spearheading talks with Qantas on a strategic tie-up.
Najib, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, told The Malaysian Reserve newspaper that the government was agreeable to a cooperative agreement between Malaysia Airlines and Qantas if it leads to a win-win situation.
"We are nationalists and we are nationalistic, but we should not be xenophobic in the sense that we cannot look in terms of how foreigners can add value to the company and to the country,” Najib said in the report. “Present conditions in the world (tell) us to be creative and innovative.”
Analysts have been expecting consolidation in the aviation industry because the global economic crisis combined with soaring oil prices earlier this year have severely crimped passenger demand. Malaysia Airlines’ net profit in the July-September quarter fell to RM38 million from RM364 million a year ago.
TTHE MALAYSIAN INSIDERHE MALAYSIAN
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