By LIDIANA ROSLI and HISYAM RASID
KUALA LUMPUR: Khazanah Nasional Bhd is confident that national carrier Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB) will be profitable by end-2019, despite being behind the schedule outlined in the five-year 12 point MAS Recovery Plan (MRP).
Khazanah managing director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar said the delay was a matter of external factors beyond its control.
“Yes, we are slightly behind the schedule set out in the MRP which targeted a return to profitability by the end of 2017.
"However, these were hindered by factors that are beyond our control namely the ringgit and oil price fluctuations. Because this, I dare say we lost some six to 12 months of the plan,” Azman said at a briefing on Khazanah’s performance last year here yesterday.
“We knew that in the first half of the five year MRP would be in fixing the most pressing of issues and this was in resetting the course, making difficult but cost efficient decisions which has resulted in the downsizing of staff and cutting of multiple routes,” he said.
Azman is also confident that MAB is on track to be a listed entity by 2020 as outlined in the MRP unveiled in August 2014.
“Now that we are in the second half of the MRP, it is now about rebuilding the brand, increasing the capacity and gaining loyalty,” he said.
“We are confident that we will break-even by the end of 2018, if not latest by first half 2019 before becoming profitable by the end of 2019. I must stressed that we are focused on the five-year MRP whereby the end goal is not just profitability, but sustainable profitability.
“I am confident that the MRP will deliver what it had set out to do,” he added.