The news of MAS starting up an Low Cost Carrier called Firefly caught most by surprise. Now that I have had time to digest it and read some of the reviews I have these comments to make:
1. It’s is a very shrewed move as he protects his second most critical gateway should the skys open up in Malaysia
2. One of the best ways to learn how you competitors are competing is to try it out. I doubt Idris is trying to out compete Tony F but I think he is carrying out an interesting learning experiment. Penang is great as it keeps firely out of the clutches and contamination of head office in KL.
3. Succession development: I think you will see a young team cutting their teeth in firefly to prove this leadership abilities in preparation for succession into MAS.
4. Even if the analyst were correct and the venture did loose the Rm2 – Rm 3 million, it would be a small price to pay for a very big experiment.
Idris came from Shell as the MD of SMDS, which for all purposes and intent was a huge learning experiment for Shell. Shell was prepared to sink in billions of dollars and did not expect to make profits for many years or so as it mastered the MDS (middle distillate synthesis) technology. Of course Idris went in as MD and soon enough Shell was making money! So firefly I guess is no diferent.
Idris – keep up your good work and continue to show this country what “transfomration” is really all about.