MAS to axe 6,000 jobs and long-haul routes

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.

Graham Smith

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  • Very sad indeed for the staff. Two crashes, one shot down and the other we may never know the actual cause.
    But regarding their European routes, does anyone think they might reduce their LHR offering to one flight a day, and sell that daily slot to stem losses, and let BA start a flight to KL as they are keen to work more with Oneworld members?

  • Hello sparkyflyer

    I am sure that this move has been discussed. The problem with MAS’ London operation is that, right now, the A380 is too large for its needs. Indeed I saw a picture taken last weekend where the Economy cabin of MAS’ lunchtime flight from Heathrow appeared less than half-full. And you can imagine the cost of flying an A380 non-stop between here and Kuala Lumpur.

  • Hi AMcWhirter,

    This article will be of interest to you –

    In fact I had flown on A380 KUL-LHR and KUL-CDG cumulatively 6 return journeys this year and J was always almost full and Y was not as what is depicted especially with oneworld codeshare (mainly AA and BA).

    I travel on the new B737-800 every month for its domestic and regional routes and they are always full especially KUL-SIN.

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