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Malaysia Airlines to let go 6,000 employees

1 June 2015

The international airline company, involved in two widely-reported plane incidents last year, is making 6,000 staff redundant, reducing the workforce to 14,000 staff. All 20,000 employees are currently receiving letters explaining they may be affected. 

Malaysia Flight MH370 disappeared with 239 people on board back in March last year and has yet to be found. A few months later, Flight MH17 crashed after being hit by a missile, killing 298 people. 

Unsurprisingly, customers lost confidence in the airline resulting in a severe drop in sales, even after being taken into state ownership. 

The newly appointed CEO, Christoph Mueller, is planning a restructure to try and save what’s left of the business. At his first press conference as CEO, Mueller admitted the airline is ‘technically bankrupt’.

Mueller was appointed by the state to lead the restructure, having previously led turnarounds for Lufthansa Airlines, Aer Lingus and Belgium’s Sabena. It’s been reported that even before the incidents in 2014, sales were falling year on year due to tough regional competition. 

At this stage Mueller is remaining tight-lipped about the company’s future plans, however there is due to be a rebranding in September which could see a new name for the airline. It’s also possible the restructuring plans will include withdrawal or changes to routes, a reduction in the number of flights and even partnerships with other airlines.

Thousands of employees will now be receiving termination letters. However, over the next few months during the restructure and rebrand, some employees will receive new job offers, most likely for different roles in the company.