Malaysia Airlines will cut 30 per cent of its workforce and a number of long-haul routes as part of a recovery plan after being hit by two disasters this year.
The carrier will make 6,000 of its 20,000 employees redundant, it was announced today.
It will become a nationalised private company (see news, August 8) — which might result in a change of name — with a new chief executive.
MAS will axe a number of routes to China. In Europe, the airline currently flies to London Heathrow, Paris, Amsterdam and Frankfurt — it is not yet known which service(s) will be axed, but it is believed the German route is likely to go.
The carrier will now focus on its local Asian routes and rely on its Oneworld partners to fly passengers in from Europe and elsewhere.
The plan is to move MAS back into profit by 2018.
It is struggling to survive following the disappearance of flight MH370 over the Indian Ocean in March and the shootdown of MH17 over Ukraine last month (see news, July 17). The tragedies resulted in a combined 566 deaths.
Khazanah Nasional, the investment holding arm of the Malaysian government, is currently the majority stakeholder in MAS with a 69.4 per cent share. It will soon take full ownership of the airline.
Khazanah managing director Azman Mokhtar said: “The combination of measures announced today will enable our national airline to be revived.”
MAS today announced its second quarter financial results, reporting a net loss of 307 million ringit (£59 million). This follows a loss of 443 million ringit (£85 million) in the first quarter.
The airline was in financial difficulty even before this year’s back-to-back disasters; the last time it made a profit was in 2010.