It couldn’t be any less controversial. The Malaysian Prime Minister on a visit to Washington DC to meet President Trump is expected to sign a smaller than expected deal.
The Prime Minister, Mr Najib is under investigation by the US Jutstice Department for fraud and corruption. He, his family and other ministers are deeply unpopular. He used unproven and made up charges to remove opposition party leaders. He has never explained why he was ‘given’ a billion dollars by the Saudis.
Once again politics has invaded Malaysia Airlines buying choices – something that leads to allegations in Malaysia of bribes and corruption – even if there were none – because that’s what people have come to expect.
There are no doubts new aircraft are required, but the airlines history and preference has lent towards Airbus for large aircraft. The A330neo was a less controversial choice. Prime Minister Najib however, wants to make sure he looks credible before elections in the next few months, and being seen doing something positive in Washington DC for the nations flag carrier, looks good at home, but taints the airlines apparent freedom of choice.
Similar issues happened with Sri Lanka’s order for A350’s which were eventually cancelled by a new government because the choice was considered politically motivated, and unaffordable.
You can never get politics out of aviation.