Malaysia Airlines braces for shakeup after twin disasters
A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-800 plane sits on tarmac at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, Malaysia,Aug. 8, 2014. (AP / Vincent Thian, File)
Kelvin Chan, The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, August 27, 2014 6:56AM EDT
HONG KONG - Malaysia is preparing to unveil the latest overhaul of its beleaguered state-owned airline, which is reeling from twin disasters months apart that killed hundreds of passengers.
Khazanah Nasional, the state investment company that owns 69 per cent of Malaysia Airlines, said in early August it will announce details of the overhaul by the end of this month. Malaysian news reports said the announcement will come Friday.
Analysts expect Khazanah to slash jobs, drop money losing routes to Europe and China, and replace top management.
A substantial revamp has long been on the cards for Malaysia Airlines, 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 Flight 370 which severed contact with air traffic controllers and apparently 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 its brand, once associated with high-quality service. Travelers on recent long-haul flights have posted photos on social media of nearly empty cabins and departure lounges. The airline says passengers fell 11 per cent in July from the year before.