Embattled Malaysia Airlines (MAS) yesterday released its delayed third-quarter results. Unsurprisingly, the Kuala Lumpur-based carrier made a 576.1 million ringgit ($167.7 million) net loss for the three months ended September 30, deepened from a deficit of 375.4 million ringgit in the same period last year.
MAS said that while “declining fuel prices have helped stem losses in our quarterly result, Malaysia Airlines continues to struggle despite efforts to reduce the financial bleeding.” Jet fuel prices hit a new four-year low last week following an OPEC decision not to curb production in the foreseeable future. Airline stocks the world over reacted with strong gains.
While MAS’ operating costs actually decreased by 7.5 per cent during the past three months, its operating revenue decreased 12 per cent on a 2 per cent capacity increase – not a good sign at all. Load factor fell 11.5 per cent to 73 per cent. MAS said that “domestic travel demand [had] softened” and that China remained a difficult market for the airline.
Leading up to the results presentation, there was an abundance of speculation in the market about whether MAS would announce service cancellations and reductions to its money-bleeding long-haul network. However, no route cuts have been announced as of yet and so MAS’ frequencies to London, Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Istanbul stand to remain for the time being.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian government is preparing to delist MAS’ shares ahead of investment arm Khazanah Nasional taking control of the carrier next year. Khazanah is expected to shed 6,000 of the airline’s 18,000 staff.
In other news, MAS is having a global sale at the moment for travel from April through to end-June next year. Bookings must be made until December 10 through its website.
Moreover, for those looking for a last-minute and somewhat different Christmas/New Year’s getaway this year, MAS is flying several charter flights from Kuala Lumpur to Flying Fish Cove on Christmas Island from December 13 through to January 31.
For more info visit malaysiaairlines.com
Dominic Sebastian Lalk