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Malaysia mulls options for struggling flag carrier

Malaysia prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has reportedly said that he is studying options for the country’s flag carrier, including whether shut it down, sell it off, or to put in more investment.

“It is a very serious matter to shut down the airline,” he told a news conference at parliament, adding that options are being studied, and that a decision will soon be made.

Sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional took Malaysia Airlines private in 2014 and initiated a turnaround plan, following the twin air disasters of MH370’s disappearance and the shooting down of MH17 over Ukraine.

The original target had been to achieve breakeven by the fourth quarter of 2017, and to be profitable for the full year in 2018. The company, however, still posted losses last year, and had said in an update that it would move to narrow losses in 2019 through a series of revenue improvements and cost-rationalisation initiatives.

Meanwhile, Khazanah has reportedly said that the government needs to decide on the level of support for the carrier.

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