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qf002
Posts: 3692
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:14 am

RE: MAS Mulling Delaying A380 EIS And QF OW Alliance

Sat Aug 27, 2011 3:55 am

Quoting aerokiwi (Reply 48):
I certainly am. MH is a great airline but it simply doesn't need the 380. And Skyteam would be a far mopre sensible fit for them.

Wait so you've got access to every piece of information involved in making this decision to say that?? The people running the airline are not completely stupid - they aren't just deciding these things without intensive analysis and planning, without discussions with all involved and forecast profits/revenues under all the options. I am personally unsure what's best for them, but I think I trust the decision of their management/board more than yours...
 
aviasian
Posts: 1244
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2001 8:11 am

RE: MAS Mulling Delaying A380 EIS And QF OW Alliance

Sat Aug 27, 2011 4:36 am

Some questions and thoughts regarding Malaysia Airlines' second thoughts on oneworld membership.

1. Didn't MAS wished for years for membership in Skyteam and in spite of rather clear support from KLM, it failed to win the love of KLM's other half?

2. With Vietnam Airlines (which is increasingly improving in quality and net-worth to Skyteam) and Garuda Indonesia (named one of the most improved airlines) already in Skyteam, is there any more reason for MAS to be invited to join? This is rather like the situation if MAS wants to join Star Alliance which already has Thai and SIA North and South of Malaysia.

3. For many with MAS' best interest at heart, I am certain new of its entry into oneworld (which broke in June at the sidelines of the IATA AGM in Singapore) was greeted with much joy - and might I add relief. But for MAS now to even consider a re-think, would not its sponsor - Qantas - feel slighted?

I would dearly love to know from a Qantas insider what the QF-management's sentiments are about MAS' current re-think about oneworld membership.

KC Sim
 
Econojetter
Posts: 356
Joined: Thu May 24, 2001 11:24 pm

RE: MAS Mulling Delaying A380 EIS And QF OW Alliance

Sat Aug 27, 2011 5:24 am

I think a lot of foreigners mistake MH for an entity that is business-focused. It is not. So, the normal airline business analysis does not apply here. Any airline weighing a strategic partnership with MH should keep that in mind and always at least have a plan B, C, or even D for when MH (or rather the Malaysian government) flip flops on previous agreements; and watch out for political shuffles. CEO's come and go. They are appointed by the government and tend to be in the social circles of the Malaysian aristocracy. Their main job is to go along with what the government wants to see in the airline and be creative about spinning it into an attractive proposition. These are the people who authorize key strategic plans, and not the good veterans who have been seeing to the airline's daily operations for years. That is why many of the airline's visions and goals are clearly out of touch with the realities of the industry.

From what I can see, the recent notable exception was Idris Jala, who made the mistake of actually trying to do a job. He came in when MH was on life support again several years after the widespread asset unbundling (WAU) (which was essentially a creatively packaged billion dollar government bailout). Perhaps at that time, the government felt that WAU was still fresh in the people's memory and feared a voter backlash, and thus brought in Jala to give the impression of cleaning up. I believe that Jala took it seriously; the business turnaround plans that were launched during the earlier part of his tenure contained serious evaluations of the airline's operations and drew conclusions that were in line with what most in the international airline business saw in the Malaysian air transport market. Later, the execution did not run smoothly, and it doesn't take much imagination to suspect resistance in the government to austerity measures as a major reason for the plans' incomplete implementation. Jala's departure was sudden, and for a ministerial position that was created by the government; it is unclear to this day the purpose of that position, so I don't it is unfair to suspect that the move was simply to get Jala out of the way. Jala's overall contribution to the airline is arguable, but what I'm trying to convey is the manner in which MH is managed at the very top.

The A380s were ordered in 2003, at a time when MH was riding on a post-bailout high. Within the airline, there were doubts as to whether or not the aircraft was suitable for MH operations. During the time after there were successive announcements of the production delay, I believe a deal was made with Airbus to push back the delivery, a delay which now the airline attributes entirely to Airbus' production problems. There were calls during Jala's time to cancel the order for an aircraft type that was clearly incompatible with what the turnaround and transformation plans were aiming to achieve. Ultimately, the airline stuck to the orders, especially since the actual delay compensations later proved rather useful in propping up the airline's bottomline during the most recent global downturn.

The recent shuffle in the top management and various interviews/reports from the "new" team signal a worrying potential return to the days of excessively lavish products - matching the best-in-class offerings, reducing the seatcount on the A380s to be delivered. It seems the co-operation with AK and the implied reduction in direct yield-busting competition has now been taken as an excuse to invest in a makeover which will once again return MH to its trophy airline days. "Focus on improving the yield" according to government airline management appears to equate to expanding and upgrading its premium offerings; just like joining an alliance equates automatically to a big step up in projected income. People somehow expect Tony Fernandes and Kamarudin Meranun to translate AK's success onto MH. But some of us question the AK guys' motives. With MH share prices already in the dumpster, and MH bankruptcy very unlikely, there's not much downside. AK has already been rewarded with immediate removal of homeground low cost competition and official government support. On the government side, at the top of the "new" faces are folks who were responsible for the widespread asset unbundling (WAU) in 2001. It's not unreasonable to expect them to come up with another "creatively" packaged taxpayer bailout. Such is the cost of maintaining five dubious Skytrax stars.

Skyteam's oft-discussed hesitation may be because they deem MH an unreliable business partner, if they had been paying attention to the goings-on at MH. Or more likely they are unsure of the value of a KUL hub, at which AK is now stronger than MH. It may be a convenient way to increase capacity during boom times but a yield dumpster during downturns. Having one more airline in oneworld is not a bad thing, but I doubt getting closer to MH in these times will be beneficial. A codeshare on MH to lower yield longhaul destination would be a good enough way to increase reach without major investment. Otherwise, increasing co-operation with AY in addition to BA at SIN could be another good way to go. Meanwhile, a selective JQ + AK+ D7 (Air Asia X) co-operation for India/Europe/Middle East could be considered. That would eat into MH's market share in those markets, but perhaps the Malaysian government will not think it's a problem. After all, they are determined to think that full service and low cost carriers do not compete directly.
 
fcogafa
Posts: 1311
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RE: MAS Mulling Delaying A380 EIS And QF OW Alliance

Sat Aug 27, 2011 12:54 pm

With Air Asia X taking a stake, membership of OW and the A380 introduction, might this mean the end of Air Asia X flights to the UK?

Or even X moving to LHR to supplement them as MAS had 3 flights a day some years ago compared to todays 2. Although there is the issue of the B772 being introduced and the subsequent capacity reduction....
 
aviasian
Posts: 1244
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RE: MAS Mulling Delaying A380 EIS And QF OW Alliance

Sat Aug 27, 2011 6:58 pm

Over the 48 hours, it seems the new management of MAS has reversed its decision to re-think its entry into oneworld. Any talk of a possible shift to Skyteam has effectively been dropped. Let's hope that MAS makes the most of its hard-earned membership in oneworld.

KC Sim
 
aerokiwi
Posts: 2810
Joined: Sun Jul 30, 2000 1:17 pm

RE: MAS Mulling Delaying A380 EIS And QF OW Alliance

Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:41 am

Quoting qf002 (Reply 50):
Wait so you've got access to every piece of information involved in making this decision to say that??

This is such a fallacy of an argument.

Of course nobody has access to all the details. I'm an interested observer and have been for years. An expert? No, but I never claimed to be. Equally, I suspect, nor are you. But if we were all to reserve our opinion based on inaccessibility to all the facts, then that would make for a fairly tedious forum.

As Econojetter points out...

Quoting Econojetter (Reply 52):
I think a lot of foreigners mistake MH for an entity that is business-focused. It is not. So, the normal airline business analysis does not apply here.

... and I'm as guilty of this as anyone. I assume decisions are made based on a rational commercial basis at MH. Evidently, they're not, and it's a great shame.

LHR - really the only route for which MH could conceivably need A380 capacity, has been downgagued to a daily 744 and a daily 772. Either there's an aircraft scheduling issue brought on by maintenance requirements or the like, or there's excess capacity at a price MH can afford.

The A380 will only exacerbate this problem. Premium traffic into KL is fairly limited and MH has comparatively little competition from European majors. So, assuming the argument that the A380 draws the premium crowd ( though all recent evidence points to this as a fallacy), I strongly doubt there's much of a crowd to pull.

And yes, Skyteam is simply the better option. I think the Australia issue can be addressed through a closer relationship with Virgin Australia, though I think this is already in place.
 
alangirvan
Posts: 522
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RE: MAS Mulling Delaying A380 EIS And QF OW Alliance

Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:26 am

Quoting aerokiwi (Reply 55):
The A380 will only exacerbate this problem. Premium traffic into KL is fairly limited and MH has comparatively little competition from European majors. So, assuming the argument that the A380 draws the premium crowd ( though all recent evidence points to this as a fallacy), I strongly doubt there's much of a crowd to pull.

And yes, Skyteam is simply the better option. I think the Australia issue can be addressed through a closer relationship with Virgin Australia, though I think this is already in place.

But Virgin Australia is now gone as a partner - Virgin Australia is now a partner of several airlines between Australia and Europe.

There is nothing wrong with the A380 for MH operation - like every A380 in the fleets of SQ EK and QF it will make money carrying passengers between UK and South East Australia. MH can learn from the early experience of Qantas and offer an interior that is not biased towards High Yield passengers who are no longer travelling.

What benefit will OneWorld have? This depends on how much codeshare traffic Qantas gives MH. I would guess that the QF code will go on MH flights to FRA FCO ZRH CDG. That will give MH access to Qantas Frequent Flyers. The BA code might go on some MH flights to Asian points. Qantas may use MH for traffic between Australia and India.
 
qf002
Posts: 3692
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RE: MAS Mulling Delaying A380 EIS And QF OW Alliance

Sun Aug 28, 2011 6:52 am

Quoting aerokiwi (Reply 55):
This is such a fallacy of an argument.

Fair enough, everyone is entitled to their opinion!

Quoting aerokiwi (Reply 55):
I assume decisions are made based on a rational commercial basis at MH. Evidently, they're not, and it's a great shame.

Regardless of what basis the decision are being made on, they are still making the best decisions to achieve their final goals. If this is an economic decision, then they will base it on the economics of their decision. If it isn't, that's fine. It just means that they're basing this decision on how they can best serve their market, promote their nation or whatever. The decisions are still rational and considered, they are just set towards different outcomes when making these decisions.

In fact I would say that OW and A380 are perfect in achieving their goals if it's about Malaysia rather than money. If the airline isn't out to make money, then OW gives them access to a bigger and far more premium market than SkyTeam does. It links them to the areas of the world that hold immense wealth, and that could be highly beneficial for MH and Malaysia in the future. As for the A380 - it brings Malaysia to the same 'level' as airlines/nations like Singapore. While I think it's stupid to order a plane for purely symbolic and showy reasons, MH are seemingly not about making decisions based on the return on investment. If having A380s raises the tone and standing on the airline, then maybe that's what they're aiming to do. Same as what many people think QR is doing.

Quoting aerokiwi (Reply 55):
And yes, Skyteam is simply the better option. I think the Australia issue can be addressed through a closer relationship with Virgin Australia, though I think this is already in place.

Virgin is now in bed with SQ, so are not interested in MH. It's not just the 'Australia issue' - it's the Kangaroo route issue. Of all the major Asian airlines, MH has (imo) missed out the most on taking traffic between Australia and Europe over the past 20 years. Partnerships with airlines at both ends (and only OW offers this) could be a means of funneling traffic through KUL (and hence raising the profile of Malaysia). Does it not seem like a massive coincidence that this rumor appeared just after QF/BA announced a focus on the JV at SIN? Bearing in mind that QF is their sponsor...
 
IndianicWorld
Posts: 3420
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2001 11:32 am

RE: MAS Mulling Delaying A380 EIS And QF OW Alliance

Sun Aug 28, 2011 7:03 am

Quoting qf002 (Reply 57):
Does it not seem like a massive coincidence that this rumor appeared just after QF/BA announced a focus on the JV at SIN? Bearing in mind that QF is their sponsor...

It could well be the case. There is still a substantial shift in QFs Australia-Europe offering though, which MH can take advantage of. It also offers flights across Asia, the Subcontinent and into the MIddle East, which would all add substantial value for QF, even just with MH-operated codeshare agreements on Australia-KUL and from KUL onto other destinations.

Where exactly this QF premium carrier fits into this though is another issue, and just how AK/D7 also really view QF/JQ as a partner. They may have signed a partnership agreement for some parts of their businesses, but theres also a few decisoons being taken that will put them head to head in some areas (Japan is the latest).
 
aerokiwi
Posts: 2810
Joined: Sun Jul 30, 2000 1:17 pm

RE: MAS Mulling Delaying A380 EIS And QF OW Alliance

Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:18 am

Quoting alangirvan (Reply 56):
There is nothing wrong with the A380 for MH operation - like every A380 in the fleets of SQ EK and QF it will make money carrying passengers between UK and South East Australia. MH can learn from the early experience of Qantas and offer an interior that is not biased towards High Yield passengers who are no longer travelling.

There's plenty wrong with it.

MH are in a fairly unique situation in that they have a comparatively low-yield home base that is squeezed between two much larger hubs (BKK and SIN), with an extremely effective LCC on short, mid and, increasingly, long haul routes. MH missed the boat in becoming a major competitor on the Kangaroo route and it's taking on high capacity A380s exactly when it doesn't need them. It doesn't have the cost structure to support high density, low yield, but it doesn't have a sufficiently high yielding home market to support lower density, higher yielding, premium pax on such a massive jet.

If anything, it should be Air Asia X getting some A380s, but even that would be a stretch (Skymark being a package holiday carrier is probably the most comparable, but they're going "premium", last I read).

Quoting alangirvan (Reply 56):
But Virgin Australia is now gone as a partner - Virgin Australia is now a partner of several airlines between Australia and Europe.

Is it? Flying on them back in May they still had Malaysia listed as a partner, from memory. DJ seems to be going down the path of individual alliances outside of the Star/Skyteam/Oneworld system. Perhaps MH could simply do the same. Though it's true the SQ alliance may have closed the door on that one.

[Edited 2011-08-28 02:23:51]
 
aerokiwi
Posts: 2810
Joined: Sun Jul 30, 2000 1:17 pm

RE: MAS Mulling Delaying A380 EIS And QF OW Alliance

Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:35 am

Quoting qf002 (Reply 57):
Fair enough, everyone is entitled to their opinion!

I interpreted what you'd said as quite the opposite - that because I didn't possess all the facts then I shouldn't be stating my opinion.

After all...

Quoting qf002 (Reply 50):
I am personally unsure what's best for them, but I think I trust the decision of their management/board more than yours...

... so we should just take airline press releases as gospel, post them on here and nod our heads in deference. Sounds super fun. After all, no airline manager has ever overseen a wholesale destruction of shareholder value, inept business practices, waste of taxpayers' monies and mass redundancies. Right?

Quoting qf002 (Reply 57):
Regardless of what basis the decision are being made on, they are still making the best decisions to achieve their final goals.

Well then that exonerates inept management from every poor decision, enabling a goal for MH of gradual erosion into irrelevance, a la Royal Brunei and Air India, and dangnabbit we're doing everything possible to make that happen!

Besides, we're talking about the financial value of the airline's alliance and fleet decisions, not some ethereal 9and usually political) goal of Malaysia's image abroad, promoting tourism or whatever.
 
B747-4U3
Posts: 617
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2002 8:08 am

RE: MAS Mulling Delaying A380 EIS And QF OW Alliance

Sun Aug 28, 2011 10:23 am

Quoting aerokiwi (Reply 55):
LHR - really the only route for which MH could conceivably need A380 capacity, has been downgagued to a daily 744 and a daily 772. Either there's an aircraft scheduling issue brought on by maintenance requirements or the like, or there's excess capacity at a price MH can afford.

Back in the early 2000s - I believe shortly after BA's pull out - the route went triple daily on MH. This presumably didn't work so 4 weekly inbound flights made a stop (2 at Langkawi and 2 at Penang). Eventually the third daily frequency got ditched and now one of the two daily flights has been down-gauged to a 772.

MH are often one of the more competitive airlines out of the UK - in terms of price - so I don't suppose that the A380 will help in terms of yield.

Quoting aerokiwi (Reply 59):
MH are in a fairly unique situation in that they have a comparatively low-yield home base that is squeezed between two much larger hubs (BKK and SIN), with an extremely effective LCC on short, mid and, increasingly, long haul routes. MH missed the boat in becoming a major competitor on the Kangaroo route and it's taking on high capacity A380s exactly when it doesn't need them. It doesn't have the cost structure to support high density, low yield, but it doesn't have a sufficiently high yielding home market to support lower density, higher yielding, premium pax on such a massive jet.

I think combined to this problem is the fact that the two larger hubs to the North and South offer more connections at a higher frequency which for certain high-yielding groups makes using TG or SQ more attractive and therefore helps to fill up their planes. MH operate several routes daily or less than daily when their key competitors are offering multiple daily flights. I can't see how the A380 is going help here.

Quoting qf002 (Reply 57):
Regardless of what basis the decision are being made on, they are still making the best decisions to achieve their final goals. If this is an economic decision, then they will base it on the economics of their decision. If it isn't, that's fine. It just means that they're basing this decision on how they can best serve their market, promote their nation or whatever. The decisions are still rational and considered, they are just set towards different outcomes when making these decisions.

I would agree that there are different criteria on which to make a decision, but I'm finding it hard to believe that MH are making the best decisions on any criteria. Their strategy seems confused and fleeting and changes with the management team - which suggests that the strategy lies with the team rather than a long-term goal.

Quoting aerokiwi (Reply 60):
Besides, we're talking about the financial value of the airline's alliance and fleet decisions, not some ethereal and usually political) goal of Malaysia's image abroad, promoting tourism or whatever.

I see the two as interlinked. The financial value of the fleet decisions and alliances may be linked with promoting tourism - they may make a loss for the airline but a gain for the tourism industry as they bring more people to the country.

In any case, I think MH has failed on both counts. I don't think the A380 makes financial sense for the airline, nor do I see it helping the tourism industry - especially if MH decide to go down the low-density premium route.

As for promoting Malaysia's image abroad - I would have thought that smaller planes to more countries would be better than large planes to fewer countries. CX doesn't have any A380s, but as national pride and prestige go, I don't think you can do much better than they have.
 
qf002
Posts: 3692
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:14 am

RE: MAS Mulling Delaying A380 EIS And QF OW Alliance

Sun Aug 28, 2011 11:24 am

Quoting aerokiwi (Reply 60):
I interpreted what you'd said as quite the opposite - that because I didn't possess all the facts then I shouldn't be stating my opinion.

Wow you are taking that far too personally. Sorry if my post sounded a little abrupt, I was merely indicated that I accepted your right to have an opinion and that I take no issue with that.

Quoting aerokiwi (Reply 60):
Besides, we're talking about the financial value of the airline's alliance and fleet decisions, not some ethereal 9and usually political) goal of Malaysia's image abroad, promoting tourism or whatever.

Um where abouts is that established? We're talking about the sense of MH joining OW and buying A380s, and the benefits/detriments of these decisions on their business. You were quite happy to jump on the ship when it was pointed out that MH doesn't make these decisions based on commercial value:

Quoting aerokiwi (Reply 55):
As Econojetter points out...

Quoting Econojetter (Reply 52):
I think a lot of foreigners mistake MH for an entity that is business-focused. It is not. So, the normal airline business analysis does not apply here.

Yet now you're saying that the only aspect to this discussion that is worthy of being raised is the economic side of it... If these decisions are not based on economics, then they must be coming from other goals -- I am merely pointing out that we cannot just consider the economic implications of MH's actions when discussing alliance/fleet plans. There may be (and probably are) other major factors influencing their decision.
 
aerokiwi
Posts: 2810
Joined: Sun Jul 30, 2000 1:17 pm

RE: MAS Mulling Delaying A380 EIS And QF OW Alliance

Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:38 pm

Quoting qf002 (Reply 62):
Um where abouts is that established? We're talking about the sense of MH joining OW and buying A380s, and the benefits/detriments of these decisions on their business.

Quite right. So I'm not sure where it is that we've gone astray.

Quoting qf002 (Reply 62):
Yet now you're saying that the only aspect to this discussion that is worthy of being raised is the economic side of it...

Correct again, which seems to reaffirm your first statement above, that it's about the "benefits/detriments to their business".

Quoting qf002 (Reply 62):
I am merely pointing out that we cannot just consider the economic implications of MH's actions when discussing alliance/fleet plans. There may be (and probably are) other major factors influencing their decision.

But as we don't know what they are (as you pointed out earlier, we don't have all the "facts"), the only thing we can really comment on is the soundness of the business case. And frankly, it's lousy.

I wonder what happened to this Jala guy. Was he there for the implementation, which went awry?
 
jfk777
Posts: 7463
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 7:23 am

RE: MAS Mulling Delaying A380 EIS And QF OW Alliance

Sun Aug 28, 2011 3:46 pm

Quoting aerokiwi (Reply 63):
I wonder what happened to this Jala guy. Was he there for the implementation, which went awry?

Jala was CEO of MAS from December 2004 until August of 2009, before that he was an executive at Shell Oil based in Asia.
 
User avatar
MillwallSean
Posts: 987
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 3:07 pm

RE: MAS Mulling Delaying A380 EIS And QF OW Alliance

Sun Aug 28, 2011 11:17 pm

Idris Jala, these days I assume he is Tan Sri Dato idris jala is an interesting character. He is something as rare as Kelabit. Kelabits are a small native Sarawakien tribe from the Bario region. Christian!!!, but bumi, and had no previous experience with state owned enterprises. Bario, a small city in Sarawaks highlands, only has air connection on Maswings to Miri. Its flown by small ATR:s. Its not a place where you would expect many high achievers to originate from.
Shell paid for his MBA if i remember it correctly and put him on fasttrack within their domestication programs. he assumed various managerial positions there.
He entered MAS, brought in many things he had learnt at Shell. Promoted men that didn't have the best connections and changed ways things were done. He also made a lot of enemies doing this. During his term MAS went from basketcase to making its biggest profits ever.
Now under a new more conventional manager they are back to their old money loosing ways.

Idris Jala was eventually promoted out of his job. To a new specially arranged minister portfolio. he was last heard of when he said malaysias government were overspending and would run out of cash by 2030 unless changes were made something that led to days of debate within the country.

I dont agree that KL is that low yielding. Compared to banking hubs such as Singapore or HongKong yes of course but KUL has its fair share of high yielding passengers plus a government that sends many staffmembers in the highest classes wherever they travel. Malaysia has become a manufacturing hub for electronics and industrial goods. high amount of FDI. A yield thats way higher than for example AKL where I am based right now.

I think many of us that dont fly through KUL struggle to understand it or Malaysia. Many also struggle to understand how malaysian politics works. MAS isnt a stand alone business its part of the government and how things are done there.
Their will be lots said about the A380 ies until the day they are delivered. They are such a prestige and such a special plane that they cause a stir. Politicians wants in on it and are happy to comment on it.
They will be delivered, they will be delivered according to plan. MAS can easily fill them, problem is to much interference in MAS makes the company itself very bloated. many management positions that no one really know why they are there...
Idris Jala reduced these positions by quite a lot. Sending them onwards to other governmental companies. That didnt make him many friends. I hear the new management doesnt work with productivity and accepts new positions created for people with connections...
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