KUALA LUMPUR May 22 Malaysian Airline Systems (MAS) said in a filing to the local stock exchange on Tuesday:
*Q1 ended March 31 showed a loss after tax of 171 million Malaysian ringgit ($54.57 million), 29 percent lower than a net loss of 242 million ringgit the same quarter a year earlier.
* The better performance came despite higher jet fuel price averaging $135 per barrel during the quarter compared to $120 per barrel in the previous year.
* MAS' chief executive officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said: "From these Q1 results, we feel confident of continuing improvements in performance, given that the initiatives from our business plan are bearing fruit."
*Shares closed 0.97 percent lower on Tuesday to 1.02 ringgit a share, underperforming the Malaysia's benchmark stock index that ended the day 0.52 percent higher. ($1 = 3.1335 Malaysian ringgit) (Reporting By Yantoultra Ngui; Editing by Niluksi Koswanage)