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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Aviation Group Bhd (MAG) group managing director Datuk Captain Izham Ismail (pix) has expressed confidence that the flag carrier does not require additional shareholders funding.

Izham emphasised that the group has successfully reinvented itself and strategically leveraged its operations, enabling sustainability throughout 2022 and 2023.

“The cash balance of RM4.6 billion (2022) is generated through operations, meaning from our business,” he told reporters during the company’s 2023 annual performance briefing today.

He noted the group’s refrain from further drawdowns from shareholders and hopes to remain in the current position.

MAG’s sole shareholder, Khazanah Nasional Bhd, had also injected RM3.6 billion in capital to support its working capital requirements between 2021 and 2025.

During the restructuring, Izham said it was agreed by creditors that MAG’s cash balance must not fall below RM700 million at any given time, a commitment that was clearly outlined.

“So, based on (that restructuring exercise), it was deemed that RM3.6 billion might be needed, and to start the ball rolling, Khazanah pumped in RM1.3 billion (as part of that RM3.6 billion).

“Moving from there, MAG has reinvented itself, (and) 2024 (marks) a year of credibility. Transforming organisational culture and behaviours is an ongoing journey that will take years,“ he added, acknowledging the challenges faced by Malaysia Airlines Bhd. MAG is the parent company of Malaysia Airlines.

While envisioning the possibility of MAG giving dividends in the future, he clarified that there are no discussions on this matter currently.

MAG’s cash balance stood at RM4.27 billion, without any capital injections from Khazanah Nasional, since October 2021.

Regarding the potential relisting of the national carrier on the local stock exchange, Izham expressed a shift in his perspective.

“I was driven to relist the airline when I was chief operating officer, but today my view differs slightly.

“Predominantly, I feel very strongly (that) as a private entity, the group can act faster and can make faster decisions. With a strong cash balance today, there is no immediate need to relist. I don’t discount in the years to come that (there) may be an appetite (for that),” he said.

According to a news report, Malaysia Airlines was projected to breakeven in 2018, attain profitability and return to the stock exchange via a 2019 flotation exercise under the 12-point MAS Recovery Plan announced in 2014.

However, it fell short of that target amid a challenging operating environment. -Bernama