Malaysia Airlines (MAS), unfazed with the recession in Europe, will continue to focus on business travellers.
The economic outlook of the region may not be that positive, but the airline has seen an increasing number of front-end passengers or people flying business class from Europe to Kuala Lumpur.
"We will focus on the premium traffic as the front end is doing well in Europe.
"A number of countries in Europe are slipping into recession, but people travelling in business class are increasing... due to brand loyalty and service onboard," Gorter told visiting media from Malaysia, the Philippines and Brunei, here, last week.
The media visit was organised by MAS in Kuala Lumpur in conjunction with the start of MAS double daily flight by A380 aircraft for the London-KL-London route, effective November 24.
With the four A380, MAS is now flying two flights a day for the route, with a capacity of 494 seats per flight.
Gorter said for the European market, MAS sees an increase in both business and economy class passengers, with a higher increase in the former.
Last year, MAS flight from London saw a 20 per cent increase in business travellers year-on-year, while there were an eight per cent and four per cent increase in business travellers from Amsterdam and Germany, respectively.
Gorter is optimistic that MAS will weather the current economic crisis affecting Europe because based on experience, the airline industry would rebound fast from any crises.
"You've seen recession, oil crisis, terrorism and 9-11, (but) we've seen rebound in our industry very quickly, because people want to travel.
"It is because the world has become a global village and people travel. So, I think we can weather the crisis," he said.
He said MAS' competitiveness lies in its aircraft, the non-stop flight and value for money proposition.
"We also have good customer service... our cabin crews make the difference," he added.
Gorter said those who travel in business class from Europe are not only on business trip, but they also include holiday makers.
"Discerning business travellers do not based on price, they see on-time performance," he said.
Besides having good product and customer service, MAS in Europe has also mounted many campaigns and marketing, as competition among airlines intensified during recession.
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