KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 – Malaysia Airlines (MAS), which is due to be taken private after being hit by two separate air disasters this year, will be replaced by a new company called Malaysia Airlines Bhd, with details to be announced next month.
Khazanah Nasional Bhd, Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund and MAS’s parent company, said late yesterday that it expects to make a key announcement on the leadership of the new company at the end of December, when MAS is to be delisted.
Malaysia Airlines Bhd, which is due to take over the national carrier of the same name, will be operational by July 1 next year, Khazanah said. MAS’s current chief executive is Ahmad Jauhari Yahya.
The announcement came just four hours after MAS posted its worst quarterly loss since late 2011, as passenger numbers and average fare yields fell sharply following the two successive disasters – the loss of flight MH370 en route to China and then the destruction of flight MH17 over Ukraine.
“The outlook for MAS has improved slightly due to lower fuel prices, although intensive regional and global competition, high operational costs, and the impact of the MH370 and MH17 tragedies continue to drive the urgency of the airline restructuring,” Khazanah said in a statement. Earlier this month most minority shareholders in MAS accepted the offer by Khazanah totalling $421 million to take the carrier private.
Khazanah, chaired by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, aims to delist MAS from the Kuala Lumpur stock exchange by the end of the year. This is part of a RM6 billion restructuring aimed at returning the carrier to profit within three years of the delisting.
“With the delisting, the first tranche of Khazanah’s conditional capital injection amounting to RM2 billion will be disbursed for the repayment to minority shareholders, as well as for working capital and restructuring expenditure,” it said.