Friday, 25 July 2014

Malaysia Airlines, Keep Flying!

Keep the wau soaring high

The recent tragic fate of MH17 following the missing MH370 flight put the Malaysia Airlines brand name to its worst. Stuck in a loss making situation, the lost of lives of passengers and crew on board is devasting not only to their loved ones, the nation sang the same tune of sorrow for the families.

With one airliner still missing since March and one allegedly shot down in the airspace of Ukraine, it is only normal for people to relate Malaysia Airlines as unlucky and being a customer would cast the same bad luck on you. Then, there is another group which complains about everything possible about the airline, from it’s food, customer service, the plane seat, how the airline is run etc. etc. and their brilliant suggestion is to shutdown our national carrier.

I beg to differ. 

1. A sense of pride

It is difficult times for Malaysia Airlines but having a national carrier is a nation’s pride. Seeing the symbolic wau at the tail of airplanes in foreign land brings not only pride that our country’s presence is felt but also a sense of home. Isn’t the ability of our less than 6 decade old nation to have fleet landing into airports around the world something to be proud of?

2. Government independence

Without our own airline would translate into a dependency on airlines of other countries and of course, the very famous budget airline which charges for every single tiny thing. In the time when Malaysians needs to be airlifted out countries where a revolution had taken place. Without MAS, Putrajaya would probably have to request for the help of other nations for their airlines to bring our citizens to safety. Why should a nation like ours put ourselves at the mercy of other countries?

3. Losing subsidiaries

Losing Malaysia Airlines as a whole would possibly bring a closure to their subsidiaries like MASWings which focuses on inter-Borneo flight, connecting the smaller parts of Borneo to the world. Catering to the more secluded areas, MASWings is possibly a lifeline for the population in Borneo. Take that away and having to depend on other airlines to set up a rural area services (which may not be profitable) is a foolish idea.

4. Economic importance

A national carrier serves indirect to promote the tourism of our country bringing in more tourist to the country, to assist our economic development and foreign investment and most importantly, a symbol of sovereignty and independence of our citizens in air travels. Put our import and export needs in the hands of other country's airlines rather than our own MASKargo There is no need for a dependency on other nations or airlines. Why create a definitely choice of contributing to the economy of other countries by having to take their planes when there is an option to contribute to our own? 

I am guilty of taking other cheaper options especially returning for summer holidays but I clearly didn’t enjoy my Emirates flight although it was cheaper.

5. Domestic travels and inflight services

Although budget airlines are growing like mushrooms to cater for the domestic demands, the national carrier remain to have most options for domestic travels. Budget airlines function with the basic demand curves. So, it's not surprising to be paying less on certain MAS flights sometimes. 

And finally, I despise the idea of being coerced to pay for a gulp of water or suffer in thirst. Like it or not, MAS is probably keeping the budget airlines prices in check for domestic routes.

Undoubtedly, there is much to improve. But let’s not lose hope in our nation’s flag carrier. Even though today in my London-Kuala Lumpur flight the prawns in my nasi lemak is tinier than the dried shrimps from the market; like many have circulated online, the words ‘kepada warganegara Malaysia, selamat pulang ke tanah air’ brought out a strong sense of belonging.

Keep soaring Malaysia Airlines!

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