[KUALA LUMPUR] Malaysia Airlines Bhd invited at least 14,000 employees to join the new company formed as part of a corporate revamp as the carrier seeks to return to profitability after two disastrous accidents last year.
The carrier, which has about 20,000 workers, said turnaround plans for this year include so-called capacity rightsizing, eliminating sources of losses and renegotiating key contracts, according to e-mailed presentation slides Monday. The old structure, Malaysian Airline System Bhd, will cease operations in August and selected assets and liabilities will be transferred to the new company.
The airline will start to grow again in 2017-2018, the Edge reported Monday, citing Chief Executive Officer Christoph Mueller. It will break even in 2018 and the focus this year is to stop the "bleeding," the New Straits Times quoted Mr Mueller as saying.
Malaysia Airlines is seeking to reinvent itself after stiff competition led to years of losses, even before flight MH370 disappeared in March last year and MH17 was shot down over Ukraine. The new company will reduce capacity and expand its more profitable domestic and regional routes in Asia Pacific, parent and sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd said in March.
Mr Mueller joined Malaysia Airlines from Dublin-based Aer Lingus Group Plc., which he turned around in the face of competition from budget airline Ryanair Holdings Plc. He faces a similar task as Malaysia Airlines struggles to fend off AirAsia Bhd, one of the region's largest low-fare carriers.
In August, Khazanah announced plans to cut 6,000 jobs after the carrier amassed more than 4.9 billion ringgit (US$1.34 billion) in losses since the start of 2011. Khazanah has committed to invest 6 billion ringgit to restructure the airline after taking it private in a 1.38 billion ringgit buyout.
Malaysia Airlines' costs are 20 percent higher than those of rivals, the Star reported last month, citing an e-mail Mr Mueller sent to employees.