The recent ash crisis, due to the recent Iceland volcano eruption, has left Malaysia Airlines (MAS) short of RM15 million, in just one week.
Its Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Tengku Datuk Azmil Zahruddin, said the amount spanned from loss of sales to providing alternative flights for stranded customers.
"We estimated the negative impact to us at about RM15 million and it was a bit of everything.
"There was definitely loss of sales as people who wanted to fly to Europe or those from Europe who wanted to come here changed their minds. "We also had (to incur) additional cost for grounded aircraft and of course we did have extra flights to clear the backlog of passengers," he told a media briefing on the carrier's first-quarter results here today.
Tengku Azmil said MAS didn't make money out of the extra flights but incurred losses as the airline had no choice but to undertake the exercise to minimise the waiting time of those stranded.
"The ash clouds are back. The first time it happened it was about one week. This round it is difficult to tell. We did see a close of European airspace recently," he said.
He said MAS delayed a number of flights to Europe in order to ensure it landed at scheduled destinations and not somewhere else.
"We have received news that some of the airspace have reopened and we have re-timed flights while some are on schedule," Tengku Azmil said, adding the closing of airspace was only for a short period and its impact would be fairly minimal.
He also said if the airspace was closed for a extended period, like previously, its impact on the airline would accumulate.
Source : Bernama
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