Malaysia Airlines and the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) today partnered to showcase a spectacular prelude to the mid-day air show at the Langkawi International Maritime & Air Show (LIMA 2013) in Malaysia.
Attendees of the event, comprising the Rt Hon Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak, former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed, senior government officials, LIMA 2013 participants, industry partners and the public were treated to an all-time air display ‘first’ when 4 SU30MKM Sukhoi fighter jets of the RMAF escorted a Malaysian Airlines A380 aircraft on a fly-past as a prelude to the air show.
The fly-past was staged following the official opening of LIMA which celebrates more than 20 years as part of the international air show calendar this year.
The one-off ‘special honorary fly-past’ event was jointly organised by Malaysia Airlines and RMAF to honour the Show’s senior hosts, current PM, Dato Seri Najib and former PM, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, for their vision, leadership and commitment for the success of Malaysia’s defence and commercial aerospace development strategy since LIMA first started in 1991.
Both leaders have been staunch supporters of Malaysia’s flagship airline and have overseen the development of the fleet and its network over the past 30 years. Today Malaysia Airlines is recognised globally as an international benchmark air carrier and leading award-winning airline on the World-stage.
In addition, their commitment towards promoting international industrial partnerships between Malaysian and global companies like Irkut Corp of Russia has helped drive the Malaysian national defence and aerospace industrial capabilities to an all-time high today.
Tun Dr Mahathir was PM and Dato Seri’ Najib Defense Minister when in August 2003, Malaysia signed a US$900 million contract with Irkut Corp. for 18 SU-30MKMs.
Group Chief Executive Officer, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said, “We are indeed pleased to showcase the A380 in Langkawi whose rapid progress was driven during the premiership of Tun Dr Mahathir. It is also gratifying to know that even after retirement the former premier showed keen interest in the A380’s progress, visiting it at KLIA during the prototype’s worldwide tour in 2007 and even joining us during the joyride in June last year.”
“Likewise, our present Prime Minister has always been supportive of the national carrier, including timely and valuable counsel on our A380 product. Both these dignitaries have also been our pillars of support for the national carrier’s continued existence as the anchor tenant of the Malaysian aerospace industry complex in Subang. The showcase today is indeed a fitting tribute to these two visionaries who have steered the country to greater heights in the civil and military aerospace industry. We also thank our national oil company, Petronas, for fueling our A380 to participate in this rare event,” he added.