The Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) saw its net losses reduced to RM344 million after interest and tax for the full financial year ended December 31, 2022.
It was a smaller net loss compared to the RM1.65 billion it posted for all of 2021.
But the parent company of national carrier Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) also recorded a net profit of RM1.146 billion in the last quarter of 2022, which it said was its best quarterly performance in two decades.
Its chief executive officer Izham Ismail attributed the quarterly profit increase to strong demand in the international sector for both passenger travel and cargo freight post Covid-19 pandemic as well as effective cost management and cash flow optimisation.
The group’s cash balance stood at RM4.6 billion as at December 31, 2022.
Izham said MAG’s cargo subsidiary, MABkargo Berhad (MABkargo) recorded a marginally weaker performance compared to the year before due to a softening in global freight demand even though its market capacity increased in the second half of 2022.
“MAG has emerged from the pandemic on a strong financial footing and is charting an upward financial trajectory. However, there are still many areas for improvement especially in on time performance and customer experience,” he said during a press conference at MAG headquarters here today.
Izham said MAG is fully committed to addressing the gaps and is buoyant about an increase in future travel demands since China opened its international borders in January.
“The travel demand outlook remains strong in the near term, although the macroeconomics environment remains very challenging with sustained high fuel prices, volatile forex, higher operating costs due to inflation, labour constraints, recession and geopolitical risks,” he added.
“MAB aims to regain the remaining capacity for its entire network which currently stands at 85 per cent and fully recover its services to China and North Asia by the end of the first half of 2023.
“This will spur economic growth between Malaysia and China, boosting the overall business and trade links between the two countries,” he said.
Izham also said now is a time for Malaysia to change the way it promotes the country to visitors abroad in order to beat competition from regional neighbours like Thailand, Singapore and Cambodia.
“Reinventing the product of Malaysia is very important. The traditional product of Malaysia may be irrelevant. Is going to the islands still relevant? Yes, but we need new products. Future customers are millennials, what do they like?
“Wildlife, forest, all these products, even scuba diving, mountains and golf too; we have over 300 golf courses. So Malaysia needs to reinvent its products rather than relying on the traditional island, beaches and sceneries,” Izham said.