Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB) expects to deliver profitable growth in 2018 by controlling costs, competitive airfares, and maximising load factors despite a challenging environment, said its Group Chief Executive Officer Peter Bellew. “We have delivered a stronger second half of 2016 but a weak ringgit, Brexit uncertainty and overcapacity in the Malaysian market will be the dominant features of 2017,” he said.
Malaysia Airlines had hedged significant fuel requirements but it would continue to be exposed to the US dollar volatility in the first half of 2017, he said in a statement announcing the group’s performance for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2016. For next year, the airline expects to carry over 15 million customers.
Bellew said the group is currently working towards finalising plans for the formation of a new airline, utilising the six A380 aircraft to service the Haj and Umrah market.
“Malaysia Airlines is already transporting Muslim pilgrims on charter flights to Saudi Arabia very successfully and is in a good position to cater for increased passenger demand on this route,” he said.