Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Air Asia challenges MAS union boss

Air Asia employees have hit back at remarks attributed to the Malaysia Airlines Employees Union and its executive secretary Mustafar Maarof.

Local media reported Maarof’s claims that AirAsia should stop “pressuring” the Malaysian government to allow it to operate from Subang airport or turn it into a low-cost hub.

Maroof also said that AirAsia should “not push for more flights on the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore route”.

Air Asia employees said they were “deeply hurt and bitterly disappointed” by the remarks attributed to Maarof.

Their statement went on, “The remarks indicate either a fundamental lack of knowledge about how the free market works or – and we trust this is not so – a deliberate attempt at obfuscating the facts of the case.

“We are not sure where Encik Mustafar gets the idea from that AirAsia is “pressuring the government” on these issues.

“It is not “pressure” but simple fairness that the government, in turn, does its utmost to enable AirAsia to perform at its ultimate capability.

“Unlike MAS, AirAsia is not a government linked company but a private firm, founded and operating under its own steam and in a free market environment.

"For Encik Mustafar’s information, AirAsia’s entry into a particular route has not resulted in “heated and uncontrolled competition among local airlines, which could ultimately force local airlines to contemplate closure”.

“In essence, AirAsia and MAS operate in two different markets on any particular sector – one is a full-service, legacy carrier; the other a budget carrier.

"It is MAS that has now ventured into AirAsia’s market by launching its own 'budget' fares.

"And given that MAS now appears unable to settle on its own identity – whether to focus on being a full-service carrier challenging the likes of Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific etc, or become a low-cost carrier – is an issue for the MAS management and its employees union to deal with."

Source : TravelMole
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