Malaysia Airlines plans airline buy


KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is looking at an airline purchase as it has a cash surplus, a local newspaper said on Thursday, citing a top company official.

“People always ask why we keep so much cash. We are positioning ourselves so that when the chance comes, we will be ready to grab it,” MAS Managing Director Idris Jala told the Star newspaper.

“In the next two or three years, if the economic downturn persists, we won’t even have to go looking. Opportunity will present itself to us.”

The company had 3.57 billion ringgit ($990.3 million) in cash as of Dec. 31, the paper said.

A call to MAS was not answered immediately.

MAS also confirmed there were no more discussions with Australia’s Qantas Airways Ltd about a maintenance venture after a memorandum of understanding expired recently, the paper said.

The paper said MAS was targeting 700 million ringgit of cost cuts this year. ($1=3.605 Malaysian Ringgit)