Peter Bellew to stay on at Malaysia Airlines

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Airlines Bhd CEO Peter Bellew is staying put with the national airline despite speculation that he is returning to Ryanair Holdings Plc. 

“I am perfectly happy to be here at Malaysia Airlines,” Bellew said in a press conference on Wednesday.

The Irishman who became MAS CEO in July 2016 after joining as chief operating officer in 2015, following nine years at Dublin-based discount specialist Ryanair. 

Bellew said Malaysia Airlines may need to order more widebody aircraft in six months. 

He added that the airline would lease six widebody aircraft from Air Berlin in 2018.

Malaysia Airlines and Boeing signed a memorandum of understanding for the planes that was witnessed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak during his visit to the White House two weeks ago, where he told US President Donald Trump that Malaysia Airlines would buy 25 Boeing 737 jets and eight 787 Dreamliners.

The eight 787-9s were converted from a prior 737 MAX order, while Malaysia Airlines also added eight purchase rights over 737 MAX aircraft, Boeing said.