Speaking in a question and answers dialogue arranged by the chairman of Labuan Chinese Chamber of Commerce (LCCC) Wong Kii Yi, CEO of MASWings Ritzerwan Rashid said the carrier is ready to replace its ATR 500s for more jet-like ATR 600 model.
Answering a question from Mr. Wong Wai Bun as to when MASWings would replace its ATRs for jets, Captain Ritzerwan said this wouldn’t be possible at the moment due to high leasing and operations cost connected with jets.
Mr Ritzerwan said on the matter:
The leasing is in US currency. Another factor is that ATRs are more suitable since it had a passenger capacity for 68 and at 55 we could break-even, while in case of a jet, the capacity was over 100 passengers and passenger load was inconsistent.
MASWings CEO also added that, even though fuel prices have dropped, others have not. He has also pointed out that the cost of operating an airline company gets higher each year.
Ritzerwan said the airline was forced to absorb the 6 per cent GST (around RM10 million), while another airline continued to impose a fuel surcharge, only using a different name.
Regarding this, Mr Ritzerwan said:
MASWings is not doing this. Had it not been for government subsidy, the airfare between city sectors would be even higher.
On Handling Stretcher Passengers
When the LCCC Chairman Wong said ATRs are not adequate to handle stretcher patients, Capt. Ritzerwan disagreed and said he is ready to show footage of how this is done on the said aircraft. He also pointed out that the problem is the stretcher passenger could not be able to get the immediate flight ‘but could be put on the next available flight’.
Ritzerwan said this is actually due to the fact that there was no stretcher available at the station, but that he would look into it.
On the Unfriendly Ticketing Staff
Another problem highlighted by the Chamber Chairman was that the ground ticketing staff was not friendly. The airline’s CEO said the ticketing staff is delivering services up to satisfaction, although there were some unfriendly incidents.
He also mentioned that the ground ticketing staff is another entity and that he is responsible for the pilots and cabin crews.
MASWings currently has 10 ATR 500s, nine of which are in service and one on maintenance.