Secretary-General of the National Union of Flight Attendants (NUFAM), Mohd Akram, said in a statement today that his organization believes that buying new passenger planes could bring additional financial problems for Malaysia Airlines and is because of this against the plan.
Mr. Akram said:
Buying new planes does not guarantee the airline will succeed if their financial overheads are deemed unmanageable. More planes mean new routes and more workers. This is like going back to square one where MAS was claimed to be over-bloated with workers. The airline had to lay off 6,000 workers two years ago. It’s just less than three years after this retrenchment and here they go again over-spending to purchase more planes.
He also added that many workers at the airline have been voicing concern about not having enough manpower at MAS. The fact that the carrier is now buying new planes, without once increasing its employees’ salaries or allowances in the last three years can’t sit well with its workers.
He also urged Thai Prime Minister Najib Razak to hear the other side and meet with the staff, saying:
The government needs to hear out the problems of the workers too and not just hastily do what they think is good.
A few days ago (12th September), Thailand’s PM met with US President Donald Trump in White House and told him that Malaysia Airlines wishes to buy 25 Boeing 737 and eight 787 Dreamliner aircraft. This deal, according to the PM would be worth over RM41.9 billion (US$10 billion) in the next five years.
Mr. Akram criticized this plan, asking where the planes would fly. He said he has not heard of any new routes or destinations for Malaysia Airlines. In addition, he said, there are other factors to keep in mind, such as the high cost of maintenance.
Although it is good to see Malaysia Airlines pick up again, but as we say it’s still too soon to count the eggs in the basket.