Malaysia Airlines should cancel Airbus A380 purchase - union official

Kuala Lumpur (XFNews-ASIA) - Malaysian Airlines should cancel the purchase of the A380 superjumbo from Airbus to avoid further financial bleeding of the cash-strapped carrier, a union official said.

"It will bleed the finances of Malaysia Airlines further if we buy the A380s. The purchase will be a financial burden to the carrier," Alias Aziz, president of the Malaysian Airlines Employees Union told Agence France-Presse.

Alias made the comments following the Airbus announcement of another 10-month delay in deliveries of the A380.

Alias said three months ago he wrote a letter to Malaysia Airlines' managing director Idris Jala and to its parent company Penerbangan Malaysia Bhd on the need to ditch the acquisition.

"But it is disappointing that they have not replied," he said.

Alias, who represents half of the 18,000 Malaysia Airlines workforce said the A380 does not fit with the airline's profit plan announced in March.

"If our finance is strong, I think it is alright to acquire the A380s. But at the moment, since we face a cash problem, the purchase will not help in our recovery plan," he said.

Malaysia Airlines said yesterday that it is disappointed by another delay in the deliveries of A380 but added that this will not hurt its recovery plan.

"We are very disappointed with this further delay and are currently awaiting a clear delivery plan from Airbus," the carrier said in a statement yesterday.

"Malaysia Airlines ... will continue discussion with Airbus on this matter," it said.

It said it will also consider and assess all available alternatives and options.

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