PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB) is expected to be back in black in the first quarter of 2019, despite tough market conditions and stiff competition.
Its chief executive officer Izham Ismail said while the market overview for airlines for 2018 is difficult, MAB sees positive growth for the carrier ahead and able to achieve internal targets this year.
"Our target is to start making profits the first quarter of 2019, which is is more realistic.
"The team at MAB knows my aspirations and I have asked them to work together in achieving our target this year," he told a news conference after witnessing the Training Cooperation Agreement signing ceremony between Malaysia Airlines Academy Bhd (MAAB) and the Transport Association International Air (IATA) here, today.
MAAB is a training unit owned by Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG).
Under MAB's restructuring plan which began three years ago, various efforts has been undertaken and ongoing, whereby the primary goal under the restructuring exercise is to ensure that the national carrier returns to profit.
In another development, Izham has expressed concerned about the recent direction from Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai who have asked the company to solve seating and toilet layouts in the Airbus A350-900WXB Business Class.
This follows several complaints made by passengers who have reported that the seats are uncomfortable and not enough toilet in the Business Class.
"What is most important to us is the experience of customers on board with us and customers spend 90 per cent of the time during a flight on the seats, not in the toilets.
"And, we are very proud that the seat itself is equivalent to our peers such as Lufthansa, KLM and British Airways," he said.
Today's event marks a milestone in Malaysia Airlines Academy and IATA work together in an effort to strengthen its position as a regional aviation learning hub.
Through the collaboration, the MAB Academy will offer 10 IATA courses related to the aviation industry and in line with regional requirements and legislation.
Commenting on the collaboration, Izham said the partnership does not entail any profit sharing and was established via knowledge sharing contract.