Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has asked for an independent audit on the 12 planes currently used by FAX to operate the Rural Air Services before it takes over the routes on Oct 1, its managing director Datuk Idris Jala said.
Idris said the audit was to ensure that the planes – seven Fokker F50s and five Twin Otters – were “in the same operational condition” as when MAS handed them over to FAX in August last year.
He pointed out that while MAS had already agreed to take over the rural air service routes, the national carrier had laid down two conditions to the Government.
Besides the independent audit, the other condition was that the Government pay fully the subsidies for operating the services, so that the operations would not affect the airline’s profit and loss accounts.
Speaking to reporters before the International Air Transporters Association's annual general meeting, Idris said it was important for the aircraft to be fully operational so that the routes could be fully serviced.
“When we handed the aircraft to FAX in August last year, we had to pay for the repairs to some of them to ensure the services were not disrupted. Now the people operating these planes must also do the same,” he added.
In April, FAX director Datuk Tony Fernandes announced that FAX wanted to give up the Rural Air Services to MAS because it wanted to concentrate on its budget airline business and the rollout of its proposed long-haul AirAsia X operations.
He made these comments soon after MAS launched its Firefly airline.
A month later, the Government agreed that MAS should take back the rural air service operations.
Idris revealed that the Rural Air Services would be operated by a new subsidiary – MASWings – and not Firefly.
“We decided to do this because it would be easier for us to show the profits and losses in our operations. This will also allow us to be very transparent about everything,” he added.
Source : STAR
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