Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is set to appoint a new CEO after incumbent Idris Jala was appointed as a minister in Malaysia's cabinet.

"Idris... will focus on sharing his expertise and experience in Shell and Malaysia Airlines and driving implementation of performance management in the federal government," says Malaysia's prime minister Najib Razak.

Trading in Malaysia Airlines shares was suspended on the Kuala Lumpur stock exchange on Friday pending an announcement. MAS officials could not be reached for comment.

Idris, who took over as CEO and managing director of MAS in December 2005, is widely credited with helping to restructure the carrier's operations. Before that, he spent 23 years with petroleum giant Shell.

Earlier in August, Malaysia Airlines posted a 876 million ringgit ($250 million) net profit in its fiscal second quarter due to fuel hedging gains. It made an operating loss of 421 million ringgit for the three months ending 30 June, but a 1.38 billion ringgit gain from fuel hedging contracts pushed it into the black.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news