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MAS turnaround plan: 'Qatar Airways sole foreign suitor'

New Straits Times logo New Straits Times 11/7/2019 Alzahrin Alias
Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani wearing a suit and tie: Sheikh Tamim Hamad al-Thani © Provided by Media Prima Sheikh Tamim Hamad al-Thani

KUALA LUMPUR: Qatar Airways is the sole foreign company to have sent in a proposal for the takeover of Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAS).

Sources in the industry said the Middle East airline had the funds to carry out the proposal, even though it was facing several crises in the global arena.

However, one source said the probability of Qatar Airways being the choice of the government was relatively slim due to internal and geopolitical issues.

Qatar Airways country manager (Malaysia and Brunei) Datuk Muzammil Mohamad, when contacted, declined to comment.

“I’m sorry... I don’t know anything about this. Thank you,” was all he would say.

Malaysia and Qatar had committed to explore potential cooperation in terms of investments and trade. 

The issue is believed to have been discussed between Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim Hamad al-Thani when the latter paid a courtesy visit to the prime minister last year. Qatar was also reportedly interested in investing in the third national car project.

MAS and Qatar Airways are members of Oneworld, the airline alliance founded in 1999, which records an annual passenger count of 540 million.

Qatar Airways was reported to have brokered the possibility of leaving the alliance several times. Should it do that, then the taking over of MAS would provide it with a solid footing in the Southeast Asian market.

© New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd

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