reasonable” 78% for the year through August, with unit
revenue up by 2% and unit cost—excluding fuel—
Importantly, MAB’s brand has recovered from the
MH370 and MH17 disasters, Izham said. Load factor
on Chinese routes is notably high, which is a positive
sign since this market was particularly afected by the
While the feet and network changes may be the most
visible signs of Malaysia Airlines’ new approach, Izham
is also focused on overhauling the culture of the company.
When he took over as CEO, Izham wanted to set a
clearer vision for employees of what sort of airline MAB
aspired to be. Tis vision is to be a premium, proftable
airline, focused on the Asia-Pacifc region, and delivering on the famed Malaysian hospitality.
Te hospitality aspect is crucial to customer experience, Izham said. “I believe very strongly that in the current environment of stif competition in the market . . .
Malaysian hospitality is our diferentiator.” Tis means
making customer experience the “center of gravity” for
the airline and its staf.
Tere is also a national pride element to this ap-
proach. Malaysia Airlines is regarded as something of
a national icon, Izham noted. For this reason, “we are
ambassadors who depict the values of Malaysia.”
MAB launched an efort to better identify its cus-
tomer base, and determine what customers want from
the airline and how to deliver it. Tis knowledge helps
drive decisions in other areas such as network planning.
Te carrier established a taskforce earlier this year to
focus on customer experience, and then a few months
ago it created a new division to oversee this area. Such
moves show how seriously MAB is taking the customer
experience initiative, Izham said.
Digital innovation is a key driver of this process. Izham
stressed that MAB is “not Apple or Microsoft, so we
don’t have to innovate 100%.” However, the carrier does
need to use new technology to make passengers’ journeys more seamless and to give them more control.
MAB has improved its website, migrated to an Ama-deus passenger service system, and launched a chatbot
feature. It has introduced new mobile apps, with more
under development. Te airline is also working on a
feature that would allow passengers to manage fight
disruptions themselves while in the air, when infight
Wi-Fi is available. Tis would mean they could have
connections organized when they land, rather than
having to wait to talk to an airline representative at
Izham wants MAB employees to fully embrace the
MALAYSIA AIRLINES A350-900.