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Friday, 17 March 2017 00:00

AirAsia and Tzu Chi Signed MoA to Further Enhance Cooperation

Written by  Tan Chee Wei, KL & Selangor / Translated by Wong Mun Heng

At the 2017 TIMA Conference, Dr Lin Chin-Lon (1st right), CEO of Tzu Chi Medical Mission, and about a thousand attendees were present to witness the signing ceremony of MoA by Echo Chien (2nd right), CEO of Tzu Chi KL & Selangor, and Captain Ling Liong Tien (2nd left), Group Head of Safety, AirAsia and AirAsia X Group; unveiling a new chapter in cooperation between the two parties. [Photograph by Chan Tuck Meng]

On March 17, 2017, Captain Ling Liong Tien, representing AirAsia Group, and Echo Chien, CEO of Tzu Chi KL & Selangor, signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) to further enhance cooperation between both parties. The signing ceremony at the KL Tzu-Chi Jing Si Hall was witnessed by Dr Lin Chin-Lon, CEO of Tzu Chi Medical Mission, and about a thousand participants of the 2017 TIMA Conference.


Tzu Chi’s humanitarian culture and values were first introduced into the aviation industry with the signing of the partnership with Malaysia Airlines (MAS) in 2007. In 2014, the two air tragedies of MAS Flights MH370 and MH17 shocked the whole world. The speedy, sincere and in-depth care and support extended by Tzu Chi volunteers has earned favourable feedbacks and recognition by many.

AirAsia started its operations from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2001 and within a short span of eight years, in 2009, it was ranked “Asia’s best low-cost airline” and one of the best low-cost airlines in the world. A rapid increase in number of flights means heavier responsibilities in risk management. For this reason, AirAsia started searching for partners who could provide the caring support in the event of any emergency; and this had led to the first collaboration with Tzu Chi, where both parties signed a MoA in December 2015. With the latest signing of another MoA this year, this care and support model with AirAsia will be further enhanced.

Captain Ling, Group Head of Safety, AirAsia and AirAsia X Group, remarked that they realized the importance of the cooperation, and are convinced of Tzu Chi’s professionalism and expertise after witnessing the work carried out by the Foundation. “I must say, Tzu Chi is the best of the best that we have ever seen. We are really inspired by the spirit of volunteerism, and also the ways things were done; it was very professional, very good and very detailed,” he said, in an interview. He further elaborated that, “The first MoA signed between AirAsia and Tzu Chi covers only AirAsia Malaysia flights. However, with the business expansion of AirAsia, the latest MoA will cover nine of AirAsia’s current assets, that is, our Headquarters (AirAsia Malaysia) and eight subsidiaries – AirAsia Indonesia, AirAsia Philippines, and the rest, with flights to 26 countries and 130 destinations.”

Extension signifies affirmation

He added that after the two tragic MAS air disasters in 2014, the Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia has asked all airlines to improve safety and security in all aspects, including ground support, cabin services and air routes. They also stipulated that all airline companies must have sufficient resources to assist in terms of any incident or crisis if it comes about in an unlikely event.

He related, “In the course of evaluations, we discovered that many of our destinations, such as Japan and Hawaii, have listed Tzu Chi as one of the top five supporting NGOs. Therefore, Tzu Chi with its worldwide networks is obviously our first choice. To many, Tzu Chi is known for its speedy response, quick mobilization of resources and excellent service attitude; and I, on behalf of AirAsia, would like to express our utmost gratitude and appreciation to Tzu Chi.”

The 2017 TIMA Conference is the biggest medical mission event ever undertaken by Tzu Chi KL & Selangor. Many guests and speakers from far and near, including Dr Lin Chin-Lon, CEO of Tzu Chi Medical Mission, and about a thousand healthcare professionals, were present. Thus, they were specially invited to witness the MoA signing ceremony, which unveiled a new chapter in cooperation between the two parties.

When interviewed, Echo Chien, CEO of Tzu Chi KL & Selangor said, “For the two major Malaysian airlines to seek cooperation with Tzu Chi is definitely a recognition of Tzu Chi, though it will also mean a heavier responsibility on us. It is also a testimony that the 51 years of humanitarian efforts in care and support by Tzu Chi has gained the affirmation of many.”

Having looked at the latest enhanced cooperation, something struck Echo Chien’s mind: “Master Cheng Yen has always taught us to be vigilant and prepared for impermanence even when we are in the comfort zone, and should not slack on our efforts in the purification of mind, creating harmonious society and praying for a world free from disasters. The signing of the MoA is, in a way, a reminder for us to prepare ourselves even long before impermanence strikes us.”


Coincidentally, both Captain Ling and Echo Chien mentioned that they hoped the scope of cooperation could be made even more comprehensive in the future. Recently, AirAsia invited Tzu Chi to hold an exhibition and talk at its Headquarters, and promised to send its employees to learn about environmental protection and the art of caring and support from Tzu Chi. Clearly, further to working together in the event of emergency, both parties have achieved a common understanding in other areas like environmental protection, as well as, humanitarian care and support, and are embarking on a more ideal partnership.

 

About a thousand attendees witnessed the signing of MoA by AirAsia and Tzu Chi KL & Selangor. [Photograph by Lim Chin Shein]   Echo Chien, CEO of Tzu Chi KL & Selangor said, “The signing of the MoA is, in a way, a reminder for us to prepare ourselves even long before impermanence strikes us.” She added that this is the significance of signing the MoA. [Photograph by Lai Jih Chuan]

About a thousand attendees witnessed the signing of MoA by AirAsia and Tzu Chi KL & Selangor. [Photograph by Lim Chin Shein]
 
Echo Chien, CEO of Tzu Chi KL & Selangor said, “The signing of the MoA is, in a way, a reminder for us to prepare ourselves even long before impermanence strikes us.” She added that this is the significance of signing the MoA. [Photograph by Lai Jih Chuan]
 
Captain Ling Liong Tien, Group Head of Safety, AirAsia and AirAsia X Group, said that many of the airline’s destinations have listed Tzu Chi as one of the top five supporting NGOs. Tzu Chi is known for its quick mobilization of resources and excellent service attitude; and is naturally the preferred partner for AirAsia. [Photograph by Lai Jih Chuan]  

Captain Ling Liong Tien, Group Head of Safety, AirAsia and AirAsia X Group, said that many of the airline’s destinations have listed Tzu Chi as one of the top five supporting NGOs. Tzu Chi is known for its quick mobilization of resources and excellent service attitude; and is naturally the preferred partner for AirAsia. [Photograph by Lai Jih Chuan]