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MAS reveals heavy loss after MH370 disappearance

Malaysian Airline System almost doubled pre-tax losses to MYR303 million ($96 million) in the three months to 30 June, the first full quarter following the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

Loss of MH370 on 8 March, it says, contributed to a 6.7-point drop in seat factor to 74% and a 4% reduction in passenger yield.

The company’s revenues for the second quarter were down by 7% to MYR3.3 billion. Over the same period its expenditure increased by 2% to MYR3.6 billion.

MAS’s net loss for the quarter reached MYR307 million, the company has disclosed in its latest financial statement.

It reiterates that there is still no trace of flight MH370, which disappeared en route to Beijing. “Search operations continue in the southern Indian Ocean where the aircraft is suspected to have last flown,” it adds.

MAS also acknowledges the subsequent loss of flight MH17 which crashed in eastern Ukraine on 17 July, outside the period covered by the financial statement.

The crash “compounded the tremendous stress” on Malaysia Airlines, it says, and “derailed” the company’s efforts “just as sales were showing signs of recovery” following the publicity over MH370.

MAS says average weekly bookings fell by a third in the wake of the MH17 crash, and the full impact of both losses will be felt over the second half of the year.

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