Malaysia Airlines sees increase in customer satisfaction score amidst revenue growth

Malaysia Airlines (MAB) has witnessed a two percentage point year-on-year (yoy) increase in customer satisfaction (CSI) and 14 point increase in net promoter score (NPS), following improvements in cabin, boarding and check-in services, as well as website and mobile app experience.

This comes as it posted a 2% yoy increase in revenue for the first quarter of its financial year ended 31 March 2019 (Q1 2019), as a result of increased available seat kilometres driven by an 8% increase in domestic and international capacity. According to the financial statement, the quarter witnessed improvement in ancillary revenue as a result of initiatives allowing passengers greater choice and flexibility. This, together with competitive pricing for products such as prepaid baggage and seat selection, as well as other ancillary products, led to a 23% yoy increase in ancillary revenue. MAB also noted a large increase in passengers accessing the three Golden Lounges in KLIA, following refurbishments and improvements in offerings.

Meanwhile, MAB also achieved an on-time performance (OTP) of 86% compared to 76% the previous year, as a result of improved operational efficiencies overall. This includes network realignment and improved technical dispatch reliability and ground handling process.

Group CEO Izham Ismail said that the airline expects 2019 to remain "extremely challenging". According to him, the competitive environment is expected to continue to tighten in 2019 given, driven by overcapacity in the region as well as domestic. This is largely driven by the price-sensitive leisure market which directly impacts yield.

"While the airline has hedged against fuel and forex, we will continue to be impacted by such external volatilities including the ongoing trade war between the US and China, and does not foresee to breakeven this year," he added.

He said that MAB's key focus remains to continue driving revenue improvements through enhanced product and service offerings focusing on what its passengers value, while driving cost optimisation. Izham said that the efforts in improving customer experience is reflected in MAB's CSI and NPS. "We also achieved solid operational stability with OTP, disruption management and mishandled baggage which have shown significant improvements," he added.

Izham said that looking ahead, MAB's forward booking looks much stronger compared to last year as the airline continues to strengthen its sales channels including the travel trade partners and build on existing products such as MHexplorer. The rest of the year will also see MAB looking to build revenue via other methods beyond traditional ticket sales which will include deeper collaborations with its partners.

Last month, the airline inked an agreement with Japan Airlines for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The partnership aims to improve  customer convenience by enhancing the quality of services provided by both carriers on flights between Malaysia and Japan.

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