Airline prepares for radical restructuring after tragedies
Malaysia Airlines was already struggling financially before Flight MH370 disappeared in March and MH17 was shot down over Ukraine in July. But the airline insists it is on the path to recovery, targeting a return to profit within the next three years.
“Overall it’s at various degrees of recovery,” Weng Chi Lee, area manager for the UK and Ireland, said at WTM in London. “For the UK, our year-to-date seat factor on the routes is 80%. We did drop a little bit but recovered quickly.”
He added: “Right now we are holding quite well. It’s recovering, like I said. Obviously it’s taking a little bit longer in the Chinese routes because of the sensitivity there. Europe is pretty much recovered and Australia is coming along quite nicely. South-east Asia has had hardly any degradation at all.”
Lee revealed details of the companywide restructuring, which the airline was forced to undergo following the tragedies. The carrier is set to be delisted from Malaysia’s stock exchange and turned into a regionally focused airline with strong global connectivity through its alliance partners.
The company held an extraordinary general meeting this week where it proposed to minority shareholders both the delisting of the company and the sale of shares to majority owner Khazanah, one of Malaysia’s sovereign wealth funds.
The airline is also expected to cut 30% of its workforce – around 6,000 jobs.