KUALA LUMPUR - MALAYSIA Airlines on Wednesday announced ticket price discounts of up to 80 per cent in a bid to boost passenger traffic amid the global economic downturn.
The move came after the national carrier saw 2008 profit plummet 71 per cent and slashed fuel surcharges on its domestic and international flights in January to boost sales.
Unveiling the 'Malaysia Airlines stimulus package' managing director Idris Jala said radical action was necessary for airlines to survive in the current economic climate.
'It's absolutely necessary to change your business model, and you need to change it radically to survive and win in such a tough operating environment,' he told reporters.
'I am very convinced that must be the way to survive in this environment - to tailor (the products) based on the size of the customers' wallet,' he added.
Under the programme to spur sales, selected domestic and Southeast Asian flights will be subject to ticket price discounts of up to 80 per cent.
Fare reductions will also be applied to international flights. Mr Idris did not provide a revised revenue forecast but said he hoped the new scheme will 'bring us a lot more new money'.
'We remain positive but we don't have a number to put on it,' he said.
The national carrier's net profit in the three months to December fell 81 percent to 46 million ringgit (S$18.8 million) from 241.9 million ringgit a year ago.
Airline industry association IATA said last month that the sharp decline in air travel accelerated in February as global passenger volumes nose-dived 10.1 per cent below levels recorded a year earlier. -- AFP