Posted: 10 Oct 2013 09:05 PM PDT
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THE Fatal crash a MASwing Twin Otter aircraft on Oct. 10 in Kudat, Sabah is tragic and unfortunate. The accident killed the co-pilot, Marc Joel Bansh, and passenger Tan Ah Chai.
The lost of lives, especially of a young person like Bansh who was only 23, is always tragic, more so in an air accident because flying is the safest form of transportation anywhere in the world.
For MAS the minor accident is unfortunate because Twin Otter is one of the safest and most reliable aircraft in its fleet despite its age. It blemishes MAS safety record, which is one of the best in the world.For an airline of its age and size, MAS is a very safe. There had been only two fatal accidents involving a total of 134 deaths.
On Dec 4, 1977 a MAS Boeing 737-200 was hijacked by unknown hijacker/s and crashed in Tanjung Kupang, Johor, killing all 100 people aboard. It remains the deadliest crash of in Malaysia. Then on Sept 15, 1995 a MAS Fokker 50 crashed during approach at the Tawau Airport in Sabah due to pilot error killing 34 people.
An air accident, caused whether by human errors or mechanical faults, has to be investigated and determined according to national and international rules.
For the accident to happen at the time when MAS is tentatively on the route to recovery and when international competition is rising is unfortunate for the airline.
The road ahead remains tough for MAS with the emergence of new national and regional competitors. With more international airlines flying into Kuala Lumpur, the competition for passengers is bound to increase.
Sadly for MAS, its cost structure, especially as its applies to manpower, is inflexible resulting in the airline not being able to improve on yield despite carrying more passengers. In fact, on many routes MAS is, in effect, subsidising its passengers.
Its survival depends not only on its ability to carry more passengers but also to save on cost. But the latter is impeded by the high cost of its bloated employment.
At some point, the airline's management and its shareholder must ask the very difficult, ultimate question.
Do they save the airline or the jobs?
Many airlines around the world are forced to cut their workforce in order to survive.
Do we do the same – cut some jobs and save MAS? Or we keep everybody on board and MAS continues to be neither here nor there?
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