MAS studies ways to cut costs by $280m

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Malaysia Airlines [MAS] is in discussions with its employees on all possible cost cutting measures, including pay cuts and reduced work days, to save up to 1 billion [$283 million] ringgit this year.

"We are still in a consultation process and we do not want to rush," MAS chairman Munir Majid said after the carrier's annual general meeting on Monday, according to Malaysian news reports. "We are still looking what can be done to earn revenue and save cost. So, pay cuts may not be necessary after all."

The carrier is looking at savings of between 700 million and 1 billion Malaysian ringgit through various cost saving measures, he added.

MAS posted a net loss of 695 million ringgit net loss in the first quarter of 2009, compared to a net profit of 121 million ringgit a year before.