Friday 24 May 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 17): National carrier Malaysia Airlines Bhd aims to fully restore its in-flight meal services by Nov 15, 2023, according to Transport Minister Anthony Loke.

Loke explained that allowing passengers to bring their own food as an alternative is a temporary measure and must adhere to international regulations regarding prohibited goods during Malaysia Airlines' transition to new catering service providers.

"Malaysia Airlines is committed to providing quality food for all passengers. During this transition period, full meals and hot meal services will be gradually offered for all affected routes," Loke said in a parliamentary written reply to Lim Guan Eng (PH-Bagan) on Tuesday (Oct 17).

Lim had inquired about the solution to the in-flight meal and hot meal issues at Malaysia Airlines, as well as a comparison of the cost and quality of the current food compared to the former contractor, Brahim Food Services Sdn Bhd (BFS), as well as the impact on the company's results and profits.

On Aug 30, Malaysia Airlines announced that it was ending its long-standing in-flight catering partnership with BFS after a "thorough and prolonged" negotiation period. Malaysia Airlines engaged eight new food and beverage suppliers, including Pos Aviation Sdn Bhd and MAS Awana Services Sdn Bhd, to prepare its in-flight meals starting from Sept 1.

Loke said Malaysia Airlines and BFS engaged in comprehensive negotiations from the fourth quarter of 2022 regarding the long-standing catering contract between the two parties.

"In this regard, BFS delivered a notice of termination of catering services to Malaysia Airlines with effect from July 1, 2023, after the negotiations failed to reach a mutual agreement in early June 2023.

“However, BFS later withdrew the notice and agreed to extend the service until Aug 31, 2023," Loke said.

To address this situation, Malaysia Airlines immediately initiated its contingency plan, which includes establishing MAG Catering (MCAT) operations at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), as an immediate transition to another large-scale supplier was not feasible.

The alternative caterer, POS Aviation, operates on a smaller scale and cannot immediately cover the volume of Malaysia Airlines' operations, which provides 40,000 meals on flights every day from Kuala Lumpur, according to Loke.

Loke further added that MCAT has been established as a temporary distribution centre at KLIA to manage the packaging of food and beverage items by its respective suppliers and to deliver food boxes to aircraft using high lift trucks.

"This operation complies with the standards set by the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) and is certified by the local health authority regarding its level of cleanliness and environment and meets food safety and hygiene standards," said Loke.

For more Parliament stories, click here.

Edited ByKamarul Azhar
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