Malaysia Airlines soars with disability training programmes

12-Jul-2018 Intellasia | Malay Mail | 6:02 AM Print This Post

National carrier Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) has initiated two training programmes aimed at improving its service in supporting and assisting disabled passengers in line with its “Malaysian Hospitality” (MH) philosophy.

Priority Guest Management manager Mohd Zahil Mohd Zuslaini said the Disability Equality Training (DET) and Disability Related Services Training (DRST) initiatives were strategic decisions focused on positioning the airline in serving the disabled community better through theoretical lessons and on-hands practical experience handled by disability advocates.

“We planned to train about 5,200 of our customer-facing employees involved in different touch points such as the check-in counters, flight attendants, baggage handlers and lounge attendants which also includes our sister companies such as Malaysia Aviation Group, Firefly, MASwing and Aerodarat Services Sdn Bhd.

“Since September last year, we have trained 2,600 of them to be used in their work practices and we are currently on track to completely train our staffs by the end of this year,” he said.

He added that trainings are mandatory and conducted weekly from Monday until Thursday, 8.30am until 5.30pm daily.

He further explained that DET is divided into four comprehensive modules that include the most common disabilities categories; reduced mobility, visual and hearing impairment and learning disabilities.

“Each module is conducted by a certified specialist approved by the Department of Social Welfare and handpicked from the Malaysian Confederation of the Disabled (MCD).

“These modules and syllabus are tailor-fit to our airline’s need as we do not want to do something for the sake of doing it as it would defeat its purpose in the end,” he said.

The four trainers are MCD president Mohd Sazali Shaari, MCD vice president Wong Yoon Loong, United Voice lead coordinator Yeong Moh Foong and DET facilitator Peter Tan.

Mohd Zahil added apart from the DET and DRST initiatives, MAB has also began making its 624 in-flight safety cards available in braille on all its fleet beginning last month, the first airline in Malaysia to do so.

The cards, printed in both Bahasa Malaysia and English are designed in braille text to allow visually-impaired passengers to understand the airline’s safety procedures during an emergency similar to their non-disabled counterparts.

“We do not want to discriminate our disabled passengers and it all falls back to equality therefore an awareness must be promoted to our frontliners to serve these groups better in line with our MH tagline,” he said.

MAB Group chief executive officer, Izham Ismail who also spearheaded the initiatives, said the MH tagline begins with understanding the needs of the airline’s passengers by being committed in providing quality facilities and services to all its passengers.

“MH is about anticipating our guests’ needs…a service that it is not only expected but truly deserved by every one of our guests.

“We at Malaysia Airlines strive to deliver high standards of customer service to all its passengers and to make the flying experience for its disabled passengers an enjoyable one.” he told Malay Mail.

Malay Mail also spoke to Tan who has been conducting such trainings at MAB since its inception who lauded the airline company for taking a positive move in making their service disabled-friendly.

“There are times when you see disabled individuals, people lacked the necessary skills to communicate and interact with them.

“We are not a small population and there are about 15 per cent of disabled Malaysians nationwide, about 4.8 million of us,” he said.

Tan, who conducts wheelchair trainings, said participants picked up the necessary skills quite fast and were able to accomplish within several tries.

“I am generally quite happy how it turned out for me and the results are very encouraging,” he added he also injects a dose of interactivity in his class to engage the participants with one another.

He also urged other airlines in the aviation industry to follow in the example set by MAB as it could solve a lot of difficulties faced by disabled individuals as highlighted in the media.


Category: Malaysia

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