The official reason given by sole shareholder Khazanah is that turnaround specialist Christoph Mueller quit “due to a change in his personal circumstances” after serving one year of his three-year contract.
The matter was discussed and recorded at the Khazanah Board of Directors meeting only yesterday. Christoph will serve the full six-month notice period as CEO until September 2016 after which he will become a non-executive director.
This is a fresh blow to Malaysia Airlines, which has never really recovered from the stewardship of Tajudin Ramli following its privatisation in 1994 during the Mahathir era.
What many people want to know is, has there been outside interference or pressure in the way the airline is being run?
The announcement of Mueller’s departure comes less than 24 hours after a media report highlighted a social media backlash against Malaysia Airlines’ policy not to serve alcohol during short-haul flights. Whose decision was that?
“We are the flag carrier for a diverse and multi faith nation and in response to the preference of the majority of customers, we no longer serve alcoholic beverages for flights less than three hours beginning 1 January 2016,” MAS said in a statement to Malay Mail Online.
A Facebook user, Geoff Siddle, posted on 18 April:
I have noticed a drop in corporate service over the past year, as well as a drop in the quality of the food
The “girls in the frontline” haven’t let me down yet but it’s no fun for them to always have to be responsible to pass on bad news from Corporate to the masses
This latest farce over no alcohol for flights under three hours is just nonsense though. As this weekend has just proven, social media is a very fast way of getting news (good or bad) out very quickly so MAS could have got the message out to people (since January!!)
What the weekend’s discussions have shown is the majority of people who replied were unaware of any change in policy, probably because the average person only gets to travel once a year (I’m sure there’ll be a lot of disappointed people starting their summer holiday dry this year)
But more interesting is the fact Malaysia Airlines still states that the “majority” of their Malaysian clientele have spoken up saying they don’t want alcohol served on flights less than three hours (so long haul flights are ok?!?!?)
In the current dog-eat-dog world of international travel there are certain expectations the average traveller has, and that would be a glass of wine or a cold beer with their meal if a standard flight ticket has been purchased. Budget airlines are different but they let you know about what you do and don’t get, beer & wine can normally be bought
I hope the “powers that be” upstairs at Malaysia Airlines will reconsider this latest decision of theirs as I personally know several people who will no longer fly MAS, I’m still on the fence though but with the ease of just using my Enrich miles on other ONEWorld affiliated airlines…………
Some years ago, a clean-cut man with a flashy car moved in next door to me. Or rather he apparently got the home for one of his wives – so the gossip went – and he would drop by now and then. Apparently, he was involved in catering for Mas and seemed to be living it up, though rather quietly. Those were the days.
In response, one commenter on Facebook wrote:
I’ve been flying MAS for the past 30 years (my whole life) and the decrease in offerings are just abysmal. For an airline that was so proud of its food offerings, even the flight attendants are embarrassed to serve what is on offer now (even in Business Class). Even from December last year, they cut the offerings of alcohol in Business Class, so pretty much half of what was listed on the menu wasn’t available and they pretty much ran out of what they had available (I was on a flight from KL – Beijing). I know I should support my national carrier, but for anything short haul, I now fly AirAsia and for anything long haul, I would rather go Cathay/Singapore/Any Middle Eastern airline.
A relative, an MNC director, told me his recent experience on Business Class was disappointing.
Now, the airlines may have had a bloated headcount, and some layoffs may have been unavoidable but not everyone is happy with the way the exercise has been carried out. Human rights lawyer Charles Hector believes the union has been shoddily treated with the delay in its recognition.
Malaysian Airlines new operator, Malaysian Airlines Berhad, delays recognition of trade union, for what I consider a petty reason – WRONG ADDRESS, and the Director General of Industrial Relations sadly agrees, whereby this was communicated to the Union vide a letter dated 1/3/2016. The application for recognition on 11/9/2015, and about SIX(6) Months, they say ‘Sorry Wrong Address – Please Apply Again?’
I suppose the larger question we should ask is, do we really need a national carrier especially if it is causing us so much angst – and grief even? How much more public money is going to be poured into this? For what? Some superficial notion of ‘national pride’? Like we are basking in ‘national pride’ over Proton?
After all, your biggest carbon sin may be air travel, reports the New York Times:
For many people reading this, air travel is their most serious environmental sin. One round-trip flight from New York to Europe or to San Francisco creates a warming effect equivalent to 2 or 3 tons of carbon dioxide per person. The average American generates about 19 tons of carbon dioxide a year; the average European, 10.
So if you take five long flights a year, they may well account for three-quarters of the emissions you create. “For many people in New York City, who don’t drive much and live in apartments, this is probably going to be by far the largest part of their carbon footprint,” says Anja Kollmuss, a Zurich-based environmental consultant.
Something to think about, ya?