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All-change at Malaysia Airlines from 1 July

All-change at Malaysia Airlines from 1 July
Malaysia Airlines is laying off a third of staff and will cut fleet capacity by more than 10 per cent as it implements a state-led restructuring programme that includes aircraft and route reviews, employee contract negotiations.

Owner Khazanah Nasional Bhd announced in late-March that by 1 July of this year, the airline will emerge as a new company in an attempt to put the old brand and its problems behind it, including two most recent tragedies— the disappearance of flight MH370 in March and the shooting down of fl ight MH17 over Ukraine in July of last year. The restructuring will be the first undertaken by the airline since the carrier became private in December. By the end of this year, the carrier plans to cut fleet capacity by more than 10 per cent in an effort to grow over the next five years, focusing on its Southeast Asia and Asia-Pacific based routes. European and Middle Eastern routes are being evaluated and fleets will be reassigned accordingly, said Kazanah. Christoph Mueller, formerly of the Irish airline Aer Lingus, will join the newly restructured Malaysia Airlines’ company as chief executive-designate. Mueller will oversee the transfer of MAS’ operations, assets, liabilities and “selected employees” to Malaysia Airlines Berhad (NewCo) on 1 July. In addition to reviewing 4,000 supplier contracts, Mueller will be charged with evaluating the performance of 14,000 people currently employed by the airline, according to Reuters. 
The airline’s fleet will also be pruned and will likely consist of B737-800s and “mid-sized wide-body planes” like A330s or A350s while larger aircraft like the A380 may be sold, or leased out to other carriers. Current Malaysia Airlines managing director and group CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, who has lead the carrier since 2011, will step down 30 April, although he will stay on as a non-executive director until 31 December. “The accelerated leadership transition will enable Mueller to be in a position to lead the overall MAS restructuring eff ort as it enters one of its most critical phases. It will also provide him with the executive capacity and an appropriate timeframe to prepare NewCo to begin operations. This will have a positive impact on the
long-term MAS restructuring effort and provide the best possible chance for a successful turnaround,” Malaysia Airlines said.

Source: Payload, Vol. 31

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