Malaysia Airlines denies the allegations linking the airline with certain maintenance issues related to Qantas. Media reports linking several of these issues with Malaysian Airlines Engineering & Maintenance (E&M) have been rebutted in a statement issued by Malaysia Airlines.
It said that for Qantas, Malaysia Airlines E&M only handles heavy maintenance work for its B737-400 aircraft, and that to date, Malaysia Airlines E&M have only done heavy maintenance for one aircraft, registered as VH-TJ U.
Regarding a Qantas Boeing 747-400 incident in which a mid air rupture of an oxygen bottle resulted in an emergency landing in Manila, a senior Qantas pilot was quoted by the media as saying that the incident may be related to Qantas' decision to outsource aircraft maintenance to Malaysia.
Malaysia Airlines managing director and chief executive officer, ldris Jala said, “The pilot’s allegations were totally baseless. Qantas has confirmed that the aircraft was maintained in Australia, and is totally unrelated to Malaysia Airlines.”
The statement also referred to a Qantas Boeing 737-400 registered as VH-TJU which was grounded in Melbourne because of noise from an air-conditioning fault. News reports linked the air conditioning fault with the so called ‘95 defects’ found on the plane which was maintained in Malaysia in May 2008.
Jala said, “Qantas has stated that the air conditioning fault on the aircraft is unrelated to heavy maintenance checks done in Malaysia. Regarding the heavy maintenance work for VH-TJU, there is no basis to the ‘so-called 95 defects’ quoted by the media.”
“The maintenance in Malaysia was done with the oversight of Qantas personnel. A total of 12 Qantas engineering personnel were positioned at Malaysia Airlines E&M to provide technical oversight. In the course of the maintenance, defects were found and all these were rectified. After approvals by Qantas personnel, the aircraft flew back to Australia.”
He added, “As for the case of a Qantas flight attendant experiencing a static/mild electric shock - we have investigated and identified the root cause of the issue. Although it is not possible to ascertain if the defect originated from the work at Malaysia Airlines E&M, this will be monitored for similar work, to eliminate such instances from recurring.”
Jala said that other reports regarding heavy maintenance checks were not accurate.
“Qantas will only send ‘overflow’ heavy maintenance work overseas. Their decision not to send two of its 737-400 planes to us is because space has become available for the work at its facility in Melbourne.”
“The decision has nothing to do with the media reports claiming that the first aircraft we maintained in Malaysia returned with a ‘string of defects’ as these claims are totally unsubstantiated.
“Malaysia Airlines E&M has 35 years of MRO experience, and is a certified approved MRO organisation by 31 national aviation authorities. We are a highly sought after MRO provider with an excellent track record.”
Malaysia Airlines E&M has an impeccable track record concluded the statement, with over 80 customers including Lufthansa, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Jet Airways and GECAS.