IT is better for Malaysia Airlines to be “married” to AirAsia rather than letting itself “die”, said veteran newsman A. Kadir Jasin.

He said AirAsia had “married” the flag carrier previously, referring to the airlines’ share-swap agreement on August 9, 2011.

The deal was short-lived, falling through eight months later.

“When the ‘divorce’ occurred soon after, Malaysia Airlines was worse off. AirAsia seems to be in a prolonged state of ‘gila talak’ (divorce sickness) as it is known to still be interested in Malaysia Airlines,” said Kadir on Facebook today.

Therefore, he said, it is better for MAS to be “married” to AirAsia than to sink.

“I understand that there are other suitors. I can’t say if they are real men or just dreamers. Whatever the case may be, my plea is, don’t let the Malaysia Airlines name die.”

While the government and taxpayers may be no longer able to continue losing money on MAS, “it doesn’t mean closing it down is the only answer”.

He hinted that a recommendation has been made to Putrajaya for MAS to cease operations.

“I say, not so fast. This looks like an easy way out. I smell something unpleasant. Fishy even.”

MAS is globally recognised, and there is a lot of goodwill attached to its name, said Kadir, adding that the brand has “considerable monetary value”.

He said “there is no shame” in selling it, either.

“Even the wealthy Switzerland and Holland sold their national carriers to foreign airlines – Lufthansa and Air France, respectively. Malaysia Airlines is already in partnership with many foreign airlines, either through joint ventures or code-sharing, the latest being with Japan Airlines and Singapore Airlines.”

Closing down MAS would, in effect, create a duopoly by AirAsia and Malindo Airways, he said.

“Neither can fill the void because their business models are different from Malaysia Airlines’.”

– Bernama