edited to correct the figure of the A330 order.
PETALING JAYA: Over the weekend came reports that Tan Sri Tony Fernandes has been given the task to guide Malaysia Airlines (MAS) back into the black. Full details have yet to emerge but Khazanah Malaysiahttp://www.malaysiandefence.com/wp-admin/media-upload.php?post_id=1702&type=audio&TB_iframe=1 will remain the biggest shareholder with West Ham fan Tony set to extend his Midas touch so far. For further information, read here.
We are not interested in the dealings of the airline industry but since MAS has a number of aircraft that has dual usage its time to re-look at my previous proposals on how to use these assets.
With a new top dog on the job, rationalisation and redundancies will occur. MAS has more aircraft than it needs at the moment while the other government agencies, the Malaysian Armed Forces and the MMEA are crying for more planes, for AEW and maritime patrol.
MAS has ordered 35 Boeing 737-800s and up to 25 Airbus 330s to re-capitalise its fleet. Some of the 737s had been delivered (not sure of the numbers) while the Airbus have yet to be delivered.
I would like to propose here that Jalan Padang Tembak take six of the 737s that had yet to be delivered, four to be configured as P-8A Poseidon MPA and the other two fitted with the Wedgetail radar to serve as AEW aircraft. Two of the A330s should also be taken over by the Armed Forces as MRTT aircraft. In one fell swoop we have solved the problems of the armed services and MAS. The MRTT aircraft could also be used as cargo services when it is not needed by the armed forces.
Since the aircraft had been paid for by Khazanah, I believe the cost of converting the eight aircraft to be around RM4 billion to RM6 billion. I know RM6 billion is not cheap but it will be more expensive for the Armed Forces to buy the planes directly. And it will be better than having to sell them cheaply in the open market.
If you think, my proposal is illogical think again. A similar deal was carved out on the MAS BBJ around 2000 after the government took over the airline from Tajudin Ramli following the economic crisis in 1997.
Hopefully, this post will be read with more interest in Jalan Padang Tembak rather than the usual disinterest.