Speaking at the launch of Negaraku livery on the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-800 on Monday, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said he is confident that the airline will receive a five star rating by Skytrax by 2018.
The PM said:
In the first phase, our focus was to stabilize the airline’s financial. I was informed by MAB chief executive officer Peter Bellew that the airline company is expected to be back in the black by next year. For the second phase, our target is to add 11 routes from China and focus on the product differentiation such as the onboard cuisine and flight entertainment. I was informed that we are on our way to achieve the second phase of the revival. With these measures, I believe that MAB will obtain the five stars rating by Skytrax by 2018.
He also added that 78% of 6,000 former Malaysia Airlines employees, who have been laid off in MAB’s restructuring programme, have registered for new jobs. 98% of those have already secured new jobs.
Mr. Razak continued:
The MAB management must be committed and dedicated. Without such qualities, MAB can never be one of the leading airlines. We don't just look at MAB as an ordinary airline. It is about our nation, icon, pride and joy.
The livery is a part of the Negaraku initiative, which aims to inspire patriotism among Malaysians and foster unity. The B737-899 will be the first of many aircraft to display the national flag along international routes like the ones to from Malaysia to Perth, Australia or Shanghai, China.
MAB Chief Executive Officer Peter Bellew expressed pride in the fact that the carrier is displaying the Negaraku livery across the world:
We at MAB are working hard to rebuild this great airline, making it once again the pride of the nation. This livery is an important symbol of that pride. As the national carrier, we proudly bear the Negaraku logo on behalf of each and every Malaysian whose flag we represent worldwide.