Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) and Malaysia Airlines (MAB) chief executive officer Izham Ismail has said he is not ready to “throw in the towel yet” amid fierce speculation that owner Khazanah has already decided to shut down MAB for a restart under the air operator's certificate (AOC) of its regional subsidiary Firefly.
“Do you see me throwing in the towel yet? Together with the senior leadership team, we are here still fighting for the company’s survival,” Izham said in a memo to staff last week that was seen and reported by Reuters.
This was in response to the managing director of Khazanah last week confirming reports that regional operator Firefly could replace its parent as national carrier should MAB fail to reach an agreement with creditors on restructuring plans.
MAB acknowledges the memo and tells Airfinance Journal that “MAG hereby confirms that it is continuing discussions with creditors on its ongoing restructuring exercise”.
Last week, MAG said it would transfer 10 Boeing 737-800 aircraft to its Firefly subsidiary, marking that carrier’s first jet aircraft.
Unlike the flag carrier, which is based in the capital Kuala Lumpur, Firefly is based in Penang, in the north of Malaysia.
Airfinance Journal’s Fleet Tracker shows that Firefly owns two of the ATRs and leases the remaining 10 from Showa Leasing.
Over the summer Izham told Airfinance Journal that the mainline flag carrier had “no unencumbered aircraft assets” it could sell to lower its debt.