Malaysia Airlines risks suspension of all its operations and grounding of its flights says Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who cites the need to save on operational costs.
He spoke at the Parliament yesterday saying despite several management changes, the national carrier has not been able to be successfully revived.
“Each of them (previous management) promised to revive Malaysia Airlines but unfortunately, they couldn’t overcome the airline’s problems.
“That is why today, we face the possibility of flights being stopped altogether so that we can save money to revive the airline.”
The government is in talks with a group of businessmen on plans to turn-around the airline and is still waiting for more proposals to come its way before it decide on the path to take.
The government he says is open to all proposals, including takeover and collaboration offers by other airlines.
He however hinted that the current staff will be retained and the national carrier identity will not be compromised.
The company laid off 6000 workers from its 20,000 workforce in a previous turn-around exercise financed by its sole shareholder Khazanah Nasional Bhd which pumped in RM6 billion in the delisted company.
The layoff was part of a turn-around plan which ex-PM Najib Razak says is still workable and is proving to be successful, but Dr Mahathir says the company is losing too much money to continue on its current path.
Dr Mahathir hopes the option to layoff workers will not come into the picture, adding that whatever measures taken, “we won’t need to retrench employees.”
He was replying to a supplementary question by Jeli MP Mustapa Mohamed, ex-Minister of Trade in the Najib administration who joined Dr Mahathir’s party Bersatu.
Mustapa was asking about a sustainable plan for Malaysia Airlines in the face of domestic and international competition.
Dr Mahathir says the government’s aim is review the company’s performance and options to revive it so that “when we act on it, Malaysia Airlines won’t just be revived but will perform better.”