Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has reassured the travelling public it is business as usual for passengers following the appointment of a voluntary administrator as part of the airline’s restructuring program.
The airline’s sole shareholder Khazanah Nasional Berhad on Monday appointed Dato’ Mohammad Faiz Azmi as administrator to “facilitate the transfer of selected assets and liabilities from MAS to the new company” ahead of the MAS’s relaunch on September 1 2015.
Khazanah, Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund, took control of MAS in August 2014 and has outlined a 12-point plan to restructure the airline with a new business model in a bid to return the nation’s flag carrier to profitability after three straight years of losses.
MAS chief executive Christoph Mueller, who will also lead the new airline, said the appointment of the administrator had no impact on day-to-day operations.
“I assure you our operations are very much business as usual,” Mueller said in a statement.
“All MAS flights, schedules, and reservations continue to operate as normal.
“We remain committed to serving you with our world-class Malaysian Hospitality, and look forward to welcoming you on board Malaysia Airlines.”
“You can continue to make reservations in full confidence that our flights and schedules are operating as normal, that tickets sold will be honoured, and that our Enrich frequent flyer programme continues with Miles and status preserved.”
In addition to the recent poor run of financial results, MAS also suffered twin tragedies in 2014 when MH370 disappeared enroute from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and MH17 was shot down over Ukraine while flying from Amsterdam to Malaysian capital.
Khazanah had previously indicated up to 30 per cent of MAS’s workforce, representing about 6,000 staff, would be cut as part of the restructure. News reports from Malaysia indicated the airline would begin the process of making staff redundant in coming days.
MAS has also downplayed recent media reports the six Airbus A380s in its fleet, along with six freighter aircraft and a number of other widebodies were up for sale or lease.
While Mueller acknowledged the airline was exploring fleet options, he said on May 4 “recent speculations on the airline offering some of its fleet for sale or lease is too premature when nothing concrete has been achieved”.
“MAS needs to operate and utilize its fleet at an optimum level besides maximizing revenue on the route it flies,” Mueller said.
“The market needs to give Malaysia Airlines room to explore various options in determining the most viable strategy.”
MAS operates about 80 flights a week into Australia with a combination of Boeing 777-200ER and Airbus A330s.
The airline has boosted its presence in Australia through not just a strong schedule of flights, MAS has also signed up Malaysian-born, Adelaide-based television chef and cookbook author Poh Ling Yeow to design a signature dish served on board flights Down Under and lent its support to rising local tennis star Nick Kyrgios, whose mother was born in Malaysia.
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