KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Tuesday announced the setting up of a new low-cost airline known as Malindo Airways.
Najib said the airline, borne out of a collaboration between National Aerospace and Defence Industries Sdn Bhd (Nadi) and Indonesia’s PT Lion Group, would begin operations on May 1 next year and be based in KLIA 2.
The collaboration, said Najib, not only marked another milestone in the nation’s aviation industry, but also represented yet another facet of the close relationship between Malaysia and Indonesia.
“To my mind the acronym Malindo- the melodic combination of the names of Malaysia and Indonesia – has very significant historical connotations, reflecting the long intertwined history of the peoples of our two countries.
“In terms of this to be established airline, I believe the name reflects the bridging of the two countries by way of a wide network of flights that will connect various cities and towns regionally, opening new destinations for travellers from within the Nusantara and beyond,” he said after witnessing the signing ceremony for the establishment of the airline between the two companies, here.
Najib said the entry of the new airline was a timely move to meet the burgeoning market demand, both for low cost flights and maximum connectivity across the region especially between different cities in Malaysia and various parts of Indonesia.
He said, with significant experience in Airline Operations, MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) services, Supply Chain Management and Human Capital development, NADI and PT Lion Group would not only be able to provide quality services to their consumers in the region, but also to the global aviation industry.
“This will fortify the Aviation Business ecosystem both in Malaysia and Indonesia. Furthermore, the partnership will provide the regional low-cost air travel market with healthy competition, ultimately benefiting low-cost travellers in both countries,” said Najib.
According to the prime minister, the Malaysian Aerospace Industry, which has grown tremendously over the last 20 years, will be well poised to meet the challenges and to seize the opportunities of the future if it was continuously nurtured.
In 2011, Najib said, the industry generated RM26bil in turnover, employing approximately 54,000 workers, 15,000 of whom were skilled in various vocations.
“This is something that we, as Malaysians, can take pride in, particularly because it is a testament to the success of the National Aerospace Blueprint (NAB) that was introduced in 1997,” he said.
The Blueprint laid out 45 recommendations covering aerospace manufacturing, commercial aviation, general aviation, systems and space, to provide Malaysia with the essential framework to develop itself as technologically and competitively competent global aerospace player by 2015.
The introduction of the Government’s Economic Transformation Program (ETP) further bolstered Malaysia’s Aerospace industry, identifying two Entry Point Projects, namely “EPP1-Growing MRO Services” and “EPP2-Growing Large Pure Play Engineering Services”, which were expected to contribute RM16.9bil to Malaysia’s Gross National Income (GNI) and create over 32,000 jobs by 2020, added Najib.