MALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) and AirAsia yesterday inked several MoUs to enhance mutual cooperation, even as the share swap deal between the two carriers was abruptly called off (TTG Asia e-Daily, May 2, 2012).
Azman Mokhtar, managing director of Khazanah Nasional, MAS’ majority shareholder, said: “The cross holding of shares was intended to better align the economic interests on the part of the (airlines’) major shareholders, Khazanah and Tune Air. After eight months, however, our assessment is that the cross holding of shares has become a distraction to efforts to turn round MAS and win stakeholders’ support for collaboration.”
Moving forward, MAS and AirAsia have agreed to unwind the share swap deal, and have instead entered into a supplemental collaboration agreement to explore mutual collaboration in joint procurement and aircraft component maintenance, support and repair services, an extension to the comprehensive collaboration framework agreed last August.
“The (new agreement) will focus on specific areas of collaboration while continuing to comply with all relevant anti-trust laws. It is also part of the response to meet challenges brought about by the ASEAN Open Skies policy, which comes into effect in 2015,” said MAS and AirAsia in separate statements.
MAS group CEO, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, said: “Collaboration is a game-changer in our plan to build a sustainable business for the future. We will continue to drive these collaborations with AirAsia and AirAsia X, as it will enable MAS to exploit potential synergies and efficiency gains.”
Meanwhile, AirAsia’s Tony Fernandes and Kamarudin Meranun have resigned from MAS board, while MAS’ Mohamed Azman Yahya has stepped down from the AirAsia board.