Malaysia Airlines to cut staff, routes

Malaysia Airlines will slash thousands of staff, trim routes, replace its CEO and could see future stake sales to outside investors under plans announced Friday to save it from bankruptcy after two devastating disasters.

State investment fund Khazanah Nasional, which has taken control of the failing flag carrier, said it planned to pump RM6 billion (S$2.4 billion) into the airline under a plan it hopes will return the company to profitability within three years.

Khazanah’s Managing Director Azman Mokhtar said, however, there were no plans to change the carrier’s name – now deeply tarnished by its association with the MH370 and MH17 tragedies.

“The combination of measures announced today will enable our national airline to be revived,” said Mr Azman.

Almost 30 per cent of staff to go

The restructuring will see about 6,000 – or 30 per cent – of the airline’s nearly 20,000 employees eventually lose their jobs to help put Malaysia Airlines (MAS) on a “right footing in terms of staff size”.

He said the airline would see a “rationalisation” of its flight network – a term Malaysia Airlines has used previously for cutting unprofitable routes – to become a “principally regionally focused” carrier. He gave no further details.

It also would pick a new CEO by the end of 2014, though current under-fire boss Ahmad Jauhari Yahya would stay in his position until July 2015 to ensure a smooth transition.

Source: AFP

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