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Friday, August 11, 2017

MAB ‘off its mind’ spending billions on new planes, says Nufam

Staff union of Malaysia Airlines upset at company’s plans to buy new planes while employees are unable to get a pay rise.
PETALING JAYA: A staff union in Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB) has expressed outrage that the company plans to buy new aircraft costing billions of ringgit while denying its employees a pay rise.
The National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (Nufam) said employees of the national flag carrier were upset as they had not been given a pay increase due since 2015.
“When the employees demand for some pay rise and allowances due to the rise in cost of living, the company says they don’t have money,” Nufam said in a statement, adding the airline was “off their mind”.
The union was apparently reacting to a news report that MAB was looking to order as many as 30 new Airbus A330neo or Boeing 787 jets in a deal worth as high as US$7 billion (RM30 billion) based on list prices.
The report by Australian Business Traveller quoted Malaysia Airlines CEO Peter Bellew as saying the additional planes were needed for the airline to rebuild its international network.
“We had Airbus and Boeing in the building for much of last week offering us deals on brand new aircraft,” Bellew said during a media briefing in Sydney recently.
Said Nufam: “Malaysia Airlines is at it again, buying new fleets of planes which cost billions. The question is at whose expense are they buying these planes?
“When MAS closed shop, it was mostly due to mismanagement and tons of leakage and here we are seeing another episode again.
“The existing A380 planes, which MAB is getting rid of, are less than six years old and it’s not a cheap plane. Each plane costs more than US$300million!
“Surely you cannot be disposing of expensive planes which you hardly use less than 10 years! MAS used to claim the A380s were better and can carry almost 500 passengers. Now they are switching for something which is equal to the price with less seats.
“Surely they cannot be shopping for aircraft every few years.”
Nufam said buying more planes would mean more money to be spent for training staff and to refurbish the planes.
“Why buy new planes when you are just about to turn the airline around?” it asked.
The union also claimed the airline’s employees were leaving the company by the day for other airlines, and there were shortages of cabin crew and pilots but all these issues were not addressed.
Nufam urged the government and minister of finance to question MAB on its expenditures on the new planes.
“Stop buying new planes and improve the service and upgrade the priorities for the employees.
“We do not want to see the same legacy of issues on wastage like how MAS was before where plenty of leakages were detected.
“We all thought the new rebranded national airline would be more prudent in their spending since they should have learnt from their past mistakes.
“But it appears the airline did not learn from their past mistakes and they will not stop bleeding their budget again this time,” it said. - FMT

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