The tale of shrinking tower and reach

Across town in parties and social dos, Malaysians are still laughing at Tony Fernandes for getting the egg thrown to his face due to rapid approval and Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s support on upcoming Malindo Airways launch recently.

That is not withstanding the fact the Malaysia Airlines-Air Asia ‘share-swap’ inked August last year was over turned on Labour Day. It was Prime Minister Najib’s gift to the Malaysia Airlines’ work force, who were solid up-at-arms with so many Malaysians against Fernandes’s ‘control’ over the national carrier.

Recently, Malaysia Airlines celebrated its 40th anniversary. To many of the workforce, the BOD without Fernandes is something to be thankful.

Then again October 2012 would be a ‘Dark October’ for Fernandes.

It is believed that Air Asia has been allocated a plot of land in the vicinity of the new KLIA2. Rumours are circulating about Air Asia building their headquarters on the plot of land. They wanted to stamp their mark.

Part of that rumour is that Fernandes wanted a 10 storey building. Building plans were submitted and waiting from comments from relevant authorities. It should be a pride for Air Asia, and a personal trophy for Fernandes.

It is also believed Department of Civil Aviation’s (DCA) comment to the approving authority for the proposal of the 10 story building to be rejected. It was way too tall to be so close proximity, particularly the intruding into the operations of the KLIA2 new air control tower. It was also rumoured that Fernandes’s reaction to this “Tell them to build the control tower taller”. In all likeliness, this statement could not be possible for a award winning corporate leader to utter such childish words.

So, rumour has it that a new proposal was submitted for a five storey complex. However, to suit the new proposal, they wanted more land to accommodate the building.

Now, the situation has become like how famous Malay proverbs are frequently repeated to best describe the situation; ‘Belanda dapat tanah‘ and/or ‘Bagi betis nak peha‘. They simply wanted more and win at any situation. This very much reflect the attitude, which is coming very apparent lately.

However, that is not as sensational as this other rumour. The market is buzzing about the story that Air Asia received a very stern letter from DCA with regards to their operations.

Apparently, the alleged DCA technical audit report dated 26 September had these findings:

1.0. ‘Flight Following’ which is the Communications between Flight Operations and pilots are flawed. Issues raised have not been addressed properly

2. There are failures detected in the Director of Flight Operations discharging his duties:
2.1. It is believed that the operations manual has not been updated
2.2. The execution of the flight operations is not in accordance to their manual

3.0. There is a management system failure where the lower graded staff not executing their task in accordance to the flight operations manual

It was said DCA recommended the Air Asia’s Flight Operations and Director of Flight Operations be reviewed.

As such, it was said in certain quarters that on 1 October DCA only renewed Air Asia’s Airlines Operation Certified (AOC) for six months. It will be reviewed only after all the issues have been addressed and resolve.

Air Asia should quickly mitigate all these. If their Flight Operations people are not the right people, then they have to review the team as per the said DCA recommendations. All these got to be implemented very quickly, as Flight Operations is the heart and cardiovascular system of any air carriers.

Most importantly, offer the right explanation to all stakeholders.

The confidence is at stake. This is not about Fernandes, even though he has been very a pain in everyone’s neck for quite a bit. It is about air travel via the most promising and award winning low cost carrier in the world.

Published in: on October 22, 2012 at 19:00  Comments (31)