Sovereign wealth fund, Khazanah Nasional is planning a “major restructuring” of the loss-making Malaysia Airlines (MAS), Reuters has reported. The carrier has been severely affected by the ongoing turbulence surrounding the disappearance of Flight MH370. MAS has experienced a steep drop in passenger traffic since the aircraft was reported missing, a deciding factor in it announcing record losses for 2014 to date.
MAS’s financial troubles predate Flight MH370, having posted losses for the past three years. The airline’s market share has been increasingly narrowed by rivals such as AirAsia and Lion Air on short-haul routes and the big three Gulf carriers on medium and long-haul flights.
Privatisation could pave the way for Khazanah to revitalise the carrier, but previous restructuring endeavours have come up against stiff resistance from its 20,000-strong labour union and as result of the political implications arising from it being Malaysia’s flag carrier. Sources from within Khazanah have said that it is considering a number of options and would announce its final decision in the next six to 12 months.