[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific

Malaysia Airlines cuts 6,000 jobs in overhaul

Hit by double passenger jet disasters in a year, airline also delists from stock exchange as it seeks to revive brand.

Last updated: 29 Aug 2014 11:49
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Malaysia Airlines will cut 6,000 workers and remove itself from the Malaysian stock exchange as part of a $1.9bn overhaul to revive its damaged brand after being hit by double passenger jet disasters.

Khazanah Nasional, the state investment company that owns 69 percent of the airline, said on Friday the changes included the establishment of a new company that would take over the existing Malaysia Airlines business and its reduced staff.

The cuts represents about 30 percent of the company's current workforce of 20,000, the AP news agency reported.

A search for a new chief executive is also underway, but there is no move to change the airline's name, which some branding experts had said was necessary for a successful makeover.

The twin disasters and ongoing financial woes "created a perfect storm for the restructuring to take place," said Azman Mokhtar, Khazanah's managing director. "We need to have a fresh start."

The plan aims to "strike a balance between Malaysia's desire to revive a national carrier against the prudent use of public funds," he said.

Government in control

The airline will be removed from the Malaysian stock exchange and taken completely under the wing of the government.

Khazanah, which previously announced that it plans to take 100 percent ownership, aims to restore Malaysia Airlines to profitability by the end of 2017 and then relist its shares on the stock exchange by the end of 2019.

A substantial revamp has long been on the cards for the airline, which was struggling with chronic financial problems even before it was hit by the double disasters this year.

Investigators continue to scour the southern Indian Ocean for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 which veered far of course while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8 with 239 people on board.

In July, 298 people were killed when Flight 17 was blasted out of the sky as it flew over an area of eastern Ukraine controlled by pro-Russian separatists.

The tragedies have scarred the airline's brand, once associated with high-quality service.

Travellers on recent long-haul flights have posted photos on social media of nearly empty cabins and departure lounges.

The airline says passengers fell 11 percent in July from the year before.

366

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
About 500,000 participated around the globe in the Peoples Climate March, and Al Jazeera spoke to some in New York.
Separatist movements in Spain, Belgium and Italy may face headwinds following Scotland's decision to stay in the UK.
A fishing trawler carrying 500 migrants across the Mediterranean was rammed by another boat, causing hundreds to drown.
Anti-immigration Sweden Democrats party - with roots in the neo-Nazi movement - recently won 12.9 percent of the vote.
Palestinian doctor who lost three daughters in previous Gaza war is fighting to bring 100 wounded kids to Canada.