Poor configuration of A380 & the cost that MAS could have saved

The ill thought out A380 configuration – The layout plan

The airbus A380 is a beautiful aircraft but the configuration for the MAS A380 was most inappropriate if compared to the A380 of other airline. The upper deck of the A380 of Emirates, SIA and other airline is exclusively for First Class and Business Class.

The upper deck has two huge toilets which could easily accommodate ten passengers in each of them.  Airbus must have constructed these huge toilets on the upper deck of the A380 exclusively for First Class passengers as they are paying a huge premium to travel.

Under strange circumstances,  the little Napoleon in MAS was allowed to reconfigure upper deck of the A380 into Business Class and Economy Class without much thought.  The First Class cabin is on the lower deck right below the staircase.  The toilets for the First Class passengers are of the same size as the toilets in the Economy Class. The First Class Cabin has no exclusivity because the crews and passengers in the upper deck had to walk through the First Class cabin if they want to the Economy Class at the lower deck.

So much for the re-configuration of the MAS A380. It is hoped that the top management of MAS should consider to reconfigure the remaining four of its A380 otherwise MAS will no doubt lose out on its share for the First Class passengers as they would definitely feel that they have been short changed.

Yours truly was on MAS MH002 to London on 24-8-2012.  The standard of food was horrible if compared to other premier airline like Emirate, SIA, American Airlines and others.  Perhaps this sorry state of affair must be due to the lope sided 25 years exclusive catering contract that MAS had to sign with LSG Sky Chef Brahim’s Sdn Bhd, which is closely  connected to the  brother of  the former PM, YAB Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who is now the Advisor of MAS.

Under the said lope sided catering contract, MAS had to pay about RM280 million yearly until 2026.  If this lope sided catering contract is not re-negotiated or terminated, it will not be easy for MAS to recover.

The container with 20 pairs of slippers when there were 55 Business Class passengers on board.

In other airlines, slippers are given to its First and Business Class passengers once the aircraft is airborne.  But not for MAS. The Passengers had to request for it because MAS flight does not carry enough numbers of slippers for its passengers.  On MH002 on 24-8-2012,  it carried only 20 pairs of slipper and there were 55 Business Class passengers.

Was this part of cost saving?  No one would blame MAS for cost saving but it must not be done at the expense of its passengers.

Cost saving could be done through other ways like plugging the leakages.  For example, advance notice could have been given to its passengers of flight delay due to the known causes a few days before.  Yours truly was on MH003 on 3-9-2012 and the flight was supposed to take off from Heathrow at 12 noon and it was delayed until 3:55 pm.

The delay was due to the problems of hydraulic leaked and faulty auxiliary power unit which is supplying electricity to A380 on the ground.  These faults had already been detected in KLIA. There was already of about 12 hours on 2-9-2012 which was a day earlier.  Yet, MAS ground operation did not see it fit to give advance notice to its passengers on 3-9-2012 which has resulted great inconvenience to its passengers and on top of that MAS had to give out a £15 voucher to each of its Economy Class passengers.

Yours truly had been reliably informed that there was a full load economy class on the said MH003. Assuming that full load was 500 passengers, it would have caused MAS a total lost of £7,500 (500 X £15) which is equivalent to RM35,000! This was the type of cost that MAS should be thinking of  saving and not on matters that involve convenience to passengers like slippers and other customer services.

MAS could have easily avoided incurring RM35,000 and gained tremendous goodwill with its passengers by sending out e-mail and/or sms as MAS already knew of the inevitable delay.

It is hoped that the top management of MAS would look into the above matters and take the appropriate actions if recovery is its main objective.  Disciplinary actions should be taken against the head of ground operation for sleeping on the job by not giving advance notice to passengers of known inevitable delay !

19 thoughts on “Poor configuration of A380 & the cost that MAS could have saved

  1. GE Man

    This last minute A380 seat re-configuration decision is at the wimp and fancy of the Pariah’s group when the pariah , danny the nanny upgrader was still around with clueless AJ is just a YES man .

    It cost MAS an additional of approximately MYR 4 million per ship set of seats (affecting 60 seats).

    MAS got to pay for new reconfigure seats, as well as the new “old seats” which already paid for to the seat vendor .

     With 6 units of A380 ordered, this will add an additional cost of MYR 24 million to MAS and the new “old seats” to be scrap and Airbus Industries had ask MAS to take it back to KL as they don’t have any space to store this “old seats” .

    This brand new “old seats” may end up in car boot sale as MAS cannot sell it back to the vendor and no other airlines would buy it as it is a tailor made to MAS only.

    With the new reconfiguration, Airbus Industries cannot re-locate/reconfigure the galley and the toilet as it is a major modification , as such the first class extra large toilet remain in the upper deck for the business class paying passengers while the premium paying first class passengers are using a “ciput”/small toilet meant for otherwise.

    Both bo(otak) head Azhari and AJ is now clueless why both the brand new A380 reg 9M-MNA and 9M-MNB , Auxillary Power Unit (APU) is suddenly become un-servicable, causing an un-comfortable situation on the ground for passengers as the cabin is not fully air-conditioned which is suppose to be supplied by the APU.

    Your newly line up managers could not handle this engineering problem , bo(otak) head ? or you are away in London now having dinner with the pariah and Tok Dean ??

  2. Omar MAS

    GE Man

    Thank you for enlightening us of the culprits involved in the reconfiguration of the A380. The Pariah was so powerful then he could do everything in MAS then. The Board was useless. The members of the BOD are yes men and clueless as ever. It cost MAS million of Ringgit for the reconfiguration and at teh same time made MAS a laughing stock as no other airlines will ever put Business Class and economy class in the upper deck.

    The little napoleon in Khazanah and Amok should be held responsible for what had happened in MAS due to the share swap and the infiltration of the pariah.

    Had Amok kept the Pariah and nanny Danny out of MAS management, MAS would not have faced such problems. Luckily PM stepped in and stopped the share swap and the Pariah had to go and followed by nanny Danny.

  3. love mas

    And you claim MAS full of staff that corrupt and unproductive that cause this company bleeding and unable to make profit .. Think again ….!!!!

  4. Thumb Logic

    Your are knocking your head against a stone. By now we should know that eveything goes on public dough. Our GLCs, MAS is a GLC, must learn to address issues and correct them instead of supporting and defending incompetence and waste of public funds. But so long as James Bond is freiendly with the Director of One Malaysia he can do what he likes and no one can touch him.

  5. Anonymous

    And MAS managements are ending the B747-400 service, heard the QANTAS kept some of their B747’s as back up with interior just like their A380. At least they are thinking ahead if anything shoulld happen to their A380, cheers…

  6. Anonymous

    what is the point of having Slumber Jack as advisor? Zero contribution from him and MAS is paying good money for nothing. Remember MAS is bleeding! MAS should pension the Slumber Jack so that he can spend his time sleeping.

  7. Economist Kampong

    YB WCK

    May I suggest that you propose in Parliament that an MAS Act be passed to put MAS as a body corporate answerable to Parliament and/or to the Min of Transport.

    In the 1970s, Bank Rakyat was in trouble. The government passed an act called the Akta Bank Rakyat. It places the ailing Bank under direct supervision of the Min of Coop Development and indirect supervision of Bank Negara. Bank Rakyat was given a RM20 million loan to recapitalize its balance sheet. The bank was successfully turned around. It paid the loan, in full, to the Government in just 5 years.

    Today, the Bank Rakyat is an example of a very successful coop bank, not just in Malaysia but in the region. Six years ago, Bank Rakyat was even judged the most profitable bank in Asia.

    If Bank Rakyat can be rescued from the brink of bankruptcy, so can MAS.

    What is required is to get those pretenders — senior managers who had zero airline expertise and experience, and board members who became experts in airline business because they travelled a lot on international flights – must be send packing from MAS. The sooner the better. Bring in real professionals and fully experienced airline experts.

    Look at how the mid east airlines had taken the world by storm. Emirates and the other mid east airlines are managed by team or professional expatriates, sourced from British Airways, Luftansa, etc, etc. Even Singapore Airlines had brought in an expatriate CEO who is expensive but generates success, after success, after success.

    If they can do it so can MAS. Question is — do we want to — to be successful or do we want to use MAS as just another venue to bleed the treasury of the country.

  8. The Gooberman

    Economist Kampong

    Err…..”Even Singapore Airlines had brought in an expatriate CEO……”?

    Just who was this expat CEO of SIA?

    Afaik, SIA’s CEO has always been a Singaporean.

    Including a certain Malaysian who took up Singapore citizenship before becoming SIA Managing Director (not CEO).

    Instead of convoluted Acts of Parliament, why not emulate Japan Airlines?

    JAL went into bankruptcy, restructured itself, cut a whole bunch of staff and international routes and emerged a leaner, meaner and profitable airline.

    The bottom line is that the the government doesn’t have the guts to restructure MAS a la JAL.

    It must be all those pesky unions and pariah witch hunting.

    It seems to me that the targets of witch hunting are doing reasonably well, given the current economic landscape, while MAS is still pussyfooting around in search of it’s raison d’être.

    The recent tie-ups between Qantas and Emirates and between Etihad and Virgin Australia and between SIA and Virgin Australia have changed the aviation landscape in the region.

    Yet the MAS unions, Malaysia Airports and assorted politicians believe that it’s nothing to be worried about.

    Just how delusional is that?

    1. Anonymous

      Gooberman, you are correct on almost all points except the one on the Unions. It is open knowledge that all Unions (except Maseu, of course) has told the Board on 5th May that rightsizing is an acceptable option IF it is done in accordance with the Collective Agreements in place. Question is, does MAS have the capability to do so? Another point to note is this – from the perspective of thousands of staff who love the Company and who carry out their work come rain or shine, the dismal state of MAS has been due to years of cumulative inteference and incompetent management, not to mention the total mis-management of its people. The pathetic state of affairs continue even when it is clear that urgent and drastic action must be taken, if MAS is to have a small glimmer of hope. But AJ and the Board do not seem to acknowledge this fact – just look at he structure that was rolled out on 22 August, some hope.

      1. cerita benar

        get rid of MASEU president as he is also a MAS vendor so how can he say things against MAS.
        He is a makan gaji buta staff who never work and always is sick

  9. Madani

    I had flew with SIA on A380 twice. Once from Singapore to LA and the other from Tokyo to Singapore. On both occasions, the SIA A380’s configuration on the upper deck consists of business and economy classes.

  10. mat engg

    bro a380 configuration was made far b4 aj and geng joint mas. u must understand who order a380. hwo advise the configuration of a380.There is a team who study,advise and agreed to current config.who are they?. blame them not aj who joint mas after a380 have been order.

  11. The Gooberman

    In this kerfuffle about how MAS is configuring the seating on it’s A380s, has anyone looked at what other A380 operators – among them being Qantas, SIA, Emirates and, if I am not mistaken, Lufthansa – are doing with their aircraft?

    Market realities and long-term strategies dictate airlines’ product planning.

    Thus servicing a business/banking/financial hub like Hong Kong, Singapore, London, Tokyo or New York requires airlines to adopt different product strategies than those servicing “non-prime” destinations like, shall we say, Kuala Lumpur.

    That’s a given in the airline industry.

    The more so, given the fierce competition, thin profit margins, high fuel prices and burgeoning inter-hub rivalry that we are witnessing these days.

    Yet there are the Pollyannas who believe that everything is fine and hunky-dory with MAS and that competition only exists in the minds of those less enamoured of “flag carriers”……

    Now, how misguided is that?

  12. IT.Sheiss

    YB Wee,

    My Thai friend returned to Bangkok from KLIA, economy class, on a MAS flight, 26 September afternoon. This is what she wrote after she got home.

    “I reached home around 2030 Thai time. The flight was a little rough,
    feeling like riding a car on the untarred road. At one point I though
    we landed, but in actual fact we were still up there. Food was very
    frugal. Fish curry with a piece of “you don’t know what kind of fish”
    and small cup of rice. No vegetable at all, not even cucumber. I saw
    a man next to me took a mouthful and afterward just left it like that.
    I was hungry, so I cleaned up everything plus a piece of fruits cake.
    Thai Airways would have been more generous”

    While she did not fly on an Airbus A380, it could have been an A330 or a Boeng 737, this kind of experience does no good for MAS’ reputation for service and I believe that this downgrade of in-flight food began after Tajuddin Ramli left.

    Cost cutting measure or not, this is not the way to go about it.

  13. a former cabin crew

    Irritation to an unbelievable point…. and MAS still has (most) cabin crew that slogs on EVERY flight trying serve passengers with minimal supplies and support from the company. How they won the Worlds Best Cabin Staff award with so little means is beyond anyone’s understanding. Yet the only recognition they have received so far – is just a bunch of emails from their bosses. No awards, no certificates and no remuneration. When SQ won theirs – all the cabin crew got additional bonuses apart from their yearly bonus. As far as MH is concerned – bonuses are probably only reserved for those OVERPAID PEN PUSHING directors and general managers! The crew (and graded staff) have yet to see a decent bonus paid in the last decade!!

  14. The poor standard of food with MAS has nothing to do with the catering company. Travel with Oman Air or Emirates and you will not believe that the food served on board comes from the same catering company and you will no doubt question why. The answer is simple.. their budget is low and they want everything cheap!!

  15. Anonymous

    Are you not malaysian because if you malaysian you would not talking like that we must support it to make sure our mas will achieve number one airline in the world not talking like that

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