Captain Izham Ismail, Group Managing Director of Malaysia Aviation Group Berhad (parent company of Malaysia Airlines among others), is a visionary leader whose journey exemplifies resilience, determination, and a commitment to excellence.

Captain Izham's transformation story is one marked by his passion for aviation and his relentless pursuit of success. Beginning his career as a pilot, he quickly distinguished himself with his exceptional flying skills and innate leadership abilities. As a pilot, he broke world aviation records when he flew Malaysia Airlines’ first Boeing 777-200 eastward from Seattle to Kuala Lumpur and back. The flight set new world records for longest flight and fastest round-the-world flight by a commercial airliner, with a total flight time of 41 hours 59 minutes over a distance of 23,310 miles.

Throughout his tenure with Malaysia Airlines, Captain Izham has held various key positions, steadily ascending the ranks through his hard work and dedication. What truly sets Captain Izham apart is his remarkable ability to navigate through challenges and steer Malaysia Airlines towards success. Upon assuming the role of CEO, he inherited a company facing significant turbulence, including financial woes and operational challenges. However, Captain Izham approached these challenges with a strategic mindset, implementing bold initiatives aimed at revitalising the airline and restoring its reputation as a leading carrier in the region.

Under Captain Izham's leadership, MAG underwent a comprehensive transformation, focusing on enhancing operational efficiency, improving customer experience, and strengthening its financial position. Through prudent decision-making and strategic partnerships, Captain Izham successfully steered the airline towards profitability, defying industry sceptics.

Captain Izham's leadership style is characterised by his hands-on approach, strategic foresight, and a genuine commitment to the well-being of MAG' employees and passengers. His ability to inspire and motivate others, coupled with his strong ethical principles, has earned him respect both within the company and across the aviation industry.

Apart from his extensive aviation experience, Captain Izham served Tourism Malaysia as a Board member from 2019 – 2022. He is currently a member of the Board of Governors for the International Air Transport Association (IATA), oneworld Alliance Management Committee and Exco member of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA). He is also Chairman of the Economic Advisory Council for Malaysia’s National Aviation Consultative Council since 2019.


  • Resilient Leadership
  • Transformation
  • Diversity and Inclusion