Barefoot Investor: Malaysia Market: 'Small blow to MAS'

CONTINUITY: Firefly managing director Leong's departure will not affect airline's new business plan but is still a loss of talent, say analysts

ANALYSTS see the departure of Firefly managing director Datuk Eddy Leong as a minor scrape to already bleeding Malaysia Airlines (MAS).

"I don't see how it will affect the future business plan for MAS. It (the business plan) will be very much driven by the chief executive officer (CEO) and deputy CEO," one analyst said.

Leong, prior to the announcement of his departure, was part of the senior management team of MAS, designated as the chief operating officer of short-haul business and Firefly turboprop.

Another analyst who also declined to be named acknowledged, however, that it was a shame to see one of the more dynamic characters in MAS leave the company.

"There are a lot of gaps that need to be filled in MAS and internal promotions have not fared well before," he said.

The news comes just a day after analysts declared that a teleconference with the new management of MAS did nothing to allay investors' fears.

Analysts were told that an even bleaker fourth quarter was expected for the airline, with a potential for operational breakeven in 2012.

According to analyst reports, MAS is also banking on recovering Pre-Delivery Payment for aircraft amounting to RM3 billion to tide it over its operational losses.

Its cash reserve currently stands at RM1 billion.

Analysts have been told that a bleaker fourth quarter is expected for the national airline, with a potential for operational breakeven expected only in 2012. (Business Times)


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