Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tony Fernandes's Travel Privilege On Malaysia Airlines Withdrawn

KUALA LUMPUR, June 16 (Bernama) -- Malaysia Airlines has withdrawn the massive discount given to Air Asia's Group Chief Executive Datuk Tony Fernandes over the last two years, citing pressure from its workers' union which was dissatisfied with the special privilege given, as a reason.
Its Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Datuk Seri Idris Jala said the airline had received many letters of protest from employees about the travel privilege in the wake of Fernandes's negative statements about the national carrier.
"We have provided the travel privilege out of goodwill since 2006 in response to Tony's request for interline facility for his own travel on our international routes although Air Asia does not have an interline agreement with Malaysia Airlines," he said.
According to industry practice, only airlines with interlining agreement will consider granting such travel privileges for airline employees.
"Ever since then, we have received numerous staff complaints as to why the privilege was given. We tried our best to fend off all the criticisms.
"However, recently, we have again received a lot of letters of protest from many staff about his travel privilege, in the wake of his various negative statements about Malaysia Airlines.
"Many of our staff feel extremely hurt and frustrated with what they read in the news. The sense of unhappiness among our staff is growing and the pressure from the union is mounting by the day," he said.
Idris added that based on the collective views and requests from various parties within the company, the management had decided that the withdrawal of privilege, effective June 1, 2008 was the best course of action.

MAS withdraws AirAsia boss' travel privileges

Few know that budget carrier AirAsia boss Tony Fernandes had been enjoying discounts up to 75 percent when flying on Malaysia Airlines (MAS), its bitter business rival.
That’s not until a May 28 letter penned by MAS chief Idris Jala was leaked to Malaysiakini.
According to the letter, which was addressed to Fernandes, the AirAsia chief executive officer had been enjoying steep discounts when flying MAS over the past two years.
Idris nevertheless brought bad news for the AirAsia boss in the letter - his travel privileges had been withdrawn beginning this month.
The reason for the termination, said the MAS CEO, was the many salvos Fernandes has been firing at the national carrier which had angered its staff members.
Idris stated in the letter that his company had tried to fend off the complaints from its staff through their powerful unions on why Fernandes, who had criticised MAS on numerous occasions, was granted such a privilege.
“We have received a lot of letters of protest from many MAS staff regarding your traveling privilege in the wake of your negative statements about MAS.
“Many of our staff feel extremely hurt and frustrated with what they read in the news. The sense of unhappiness among our staff is growing and the pressure from the unions is mounting by the day,” wrote Idris.
“Left with no choice, the management team decided it would be best to withdraw your traveling privilege with immediate effect beginning June 1, 2008.”
Idris apologised for conveying the “unfortunate management decision” to Fernandes but said that it was “the best course of action for now in view of the general sentiment among MAS staff”.
It is learned that Fernandes had written to MAS in 2006 requesting for discounts on MAS’ international flights.
Subsequently, MAS responded in a letter date Jan 24, 2006 that Fernandes would be provided with the following privileges:
* First/Business class - 50 percent discount

* Economy class - 75 percent discount

It is unknown whether Fernandes had utilised the travel privileges.
Bitter feud between MAS, AirAsia
Fernandes and MAS have been at logger heads over several issues in the past, one of which is the demand from AirAsia for a more “level-playing field”.
The rivalry reached its peak when MAS on May 14 announced that it would give away a portion of its seats to 20 Asian destinations prompting criticism from Fernandes as the government subsidises some of the national carrier's international flights.
Both MAS and AirAsia had earlier made similar ‘basement fares’ offers for domestic flights even as soaring oil prices and a slowing global economy are squeezing the aviation industry.
AirAsia also seeks equal rights to fly the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur route - one of the region's most lucrative - which has been monopolised by MAS and Singapore Airlines.
The bitter competition between MAS and AirAsia eventually prompted Transport Minister Ong Tee Keat to step in to help resolve the feud.
Fernandes: Letter 'kind of tacky'
Fernandes, who contacted Malaysiakini this evening, described the letter from Idris as “kind of tacky”.
“I don’t think the unions or MAS staff have anything personal against me. It’s just a corporate war,” said Fernandes, adding he was surprised to receive the letter.
The AirAsia CEO also said that when MAS ventured into the budget flight market last year with no-frills Firefly, he did not complain.
“It’s competition and I understand that. All I’m asking for is a level-playing field and nothing more,” stressed Fernandes.
Idris could not be contacted for comments but the MAS CEO’s private assistant confirmed that her boss did write the letter.
tunku : how can tony gets travel privilege with malaysia airline in the first place ? why tony travel with malaysia airline when he has airasia ? with that huge discount mas giving him, i believe it's cheaper than airasia with better service.


Anonymous said...

why does tony need the discount?? what a shame to all malaysian!

Anonymous said...

better question would be - Why would Tony a millionaire need the "SUBSIDY" from Malaysian Airlines? Why would big shots and anyone who can afford to pay full price need the SUBSIDY?
What about us?

Anonymous said...

Maybe not only him! Most probably other 'rich and big/famous figures and their families' get discount prices too!

Donplaypuks® said...

Petty to the extreme and typical of MAS which cannot see the woods for the trees!

We did not hear much from MAS staff and CEO then when hundreds of millions, if not billions, of taxpayers' money was used to bail out their jobs and a Croney from financial ruin, when they were losing money like Samy his hair.

By this petty geture, MAS is not even collecting 1 cent on 1st class while Fernandez at least paid 50% of the fare.

And if Fernandez was a Govt nominee, would Jala and MAS' staff have bothered?

The truth is MAS had plenty of opportunity when it had a monopoly, to come up with the LCC business model. But the moment an unknown M'sian Indian came up with a profitable travel biz without handouts from the Govt, the politics of envy has surfaced to promote bigotry.

Cutting the nose to spite the face?

from donplaypuks at http://donplaypuks.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

The only people claiming MAS is turning LCC or budget is AirAsia and Fernandes as usual trying to fool the public their way. People, MAS can never go LCC, geddit? They can't. Just as Air Asia can never go premium or five star. They can't. So quit with the misdirection

clemente77 said...

Well he obviously doesn't need a subsidy, but due to the role he plays in the management of the airline, he gets those special benefits. Cummon that what happens in the corporate scene. If you help a company make 5 billion dollars, would they find it hard to pay you 5 million? of course not.

But this does not mean that any other folks affiliated to or are in the management of the company should get the same benefits. As far as am concerned, the higher your responsibilities as a leader, the higher your burden. Give the guy a break and return his privileges.

About MAS becoming a low cost carrier, its not possible to do that and reserve its status as a high class carrier. In any case they have an edge to compete with Air Asia for the local and international flights. They shouldn't feel so threatened.

Its healthy to have competition in the business to promote better service rather than remain in the MAS monopoly.

All this is debatable

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