MAS could sell minority stake to another airline, CEO Bellew says

Malaysia Airlines is reportedly looking into the option of selling a strategic stake in the airline to other carriers before a possible listing exercise planned for 2019.

A report on New Straits Times (NST) on Oct 13 states that CEO Peter Bellew said that the potential minority stake sale “should increase the value of the company”, but added that the airline is not in talks at the moment.

“Listing is one of the options, but the most regular option at the moment among airlines is they take minority stakes in other airlines. That is more common than listing,” he was quoted by NST as saying.

In an article by The Edge Markets, Bellew was also quoted as saying that the industry has seen a trend of airlines taking a stake in other airlines, so that value can be increased.

‘‘It allows for balanced growth. If you look around the world, a lot don’t have partners in Southeast Asia,’’ he said in a quote carried by The Edge.

According to the business news site, Bellew brought up the example of Delta Airlines buying into Virgin Atlantic in a cross-shareholding with Air France-KLM, as a business model that the airline was exploring.

Malaysia Airlines is currently awaiting approval from Khazanah Nasional Bhd to run a new airline catering to haj pilgrims by the end of 2017.