Malaysia Airlines To Become New Company, Says New Boss
Malaysian Airlines will become an “entirely new company” its new boss has said.”We will leave the old Malaysian airlines behind,” He insisted that the transition would be “an orderly process”.
Mr Mueller, who took the helm in May, said earlier this month that the airline was “technically bankrupt”, and announced a restructuring plan involving 6,000 job cuts.
He said the airline expected no further bad news “particularly for our new employees”.
Instead, Mr Mueller said improving its technology, renegotiating contracts with its suppliers and generally becoming more efficient would help the airline to cut costs further.
He said frequent flyer miles as well as any tickets sold by the old Malaysian Airlines would be honoured by the new company.
‘Difficult to predict’
The airline was already struggling against strong regional competition and had made a loss for several years, before it was struck by two separate disasters in quick succession.
In March last year, Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared with 239 passengers and crew aboard. The plane is still missing.
Four months later, flight MH17 was shot down by a suspected ground-to-air missile while in Ukrainian airspace, with the loss of 298 passengers and crew.
Mr Mueller admitted it was “difficult to predict” how fast its brand would recover from the disasters, but said the rebranded firm would take on the compensation obligations of the old company.
Malaysia Airlines plans to announce details on the rebranding on 1 September. Mr Mueller would not be drawn on whether this would mean a change to its name, but said all options were open.
He also would not say whether the airline would withdraw from some costly long-haul flights, but said its new schedule would be announced “in a couple of weeks time”.
Mr Mueller was hired by the carrier’s owner, Malaysian state fund Khazanah, to lead the airline’s restructuring.
He has previously had senior roles at Ireland’s Aer Lingus, Belgium’s Sabena and Germany’s Lufthansa airlines. Famed for slashing jobs at the airlines, he has earned the nickname “the Terminator”.