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Malaysia plans overhaul of national airline



By EILEEN NG

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - Malaysia's state investment company said Friday it plans to remove struggling Malaysia Airlines from the stock exchange, making it fully state-owned before a far-reaching overhaul of its business.

Malaysia Airlines has been hit by two major disasters this year, which added to its longstanding financial woes.

Khazanah Nasional, which owns 69 percent of the carrier, said it plans to buy out minority shareholders at 27 sen (8 cents) a share, a 12.5 percent premium to the airline's closing share price on Thursday.

Khazanah said the delisting will represent the first stage of a "complete overhaul" of the loss-making airline, and that detailed plans will be announced by the end of this month.

"The proposed restructuring will critically require all parties to work closely together to undertake what will be a complete overhaul of the national carrier," it said in a statement. "Nothing less will be required in order to revive our national airline to be profitable as a commercial entity and to serve its function as a critical national development entity."

In March, Flight 370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing disappeared with 239 people on board after flying far of course. The plane has still not been found, with a search in the southern Indian Ocean underway.

In July, 298 people were killed when Flight 17 was shot down over Ukraine. It was heading to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam and was shot out of the sky over an area of eastern Ukraine controlled by pro-Russian separatist rebels.

Before the disasters, the carrier's financial performance was among the worst in the industry, putting a question mark over its future even before its brand was tied to two almost unfathomable tragedies.

Some analysts last month said the airline would not survive a year without a substantial cash injection from the Malaysian government.


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Michael Dubacher August 08 2014 at 12:32 AM

Malaysia Airlines makes big change:
They're not flying over war zones anymore for a change.

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frankieleunglaw August 08 2014 at 1:23 AM

Compare MAS to Singapore Airline and Cathay Pacific both of which win accolade and make profits.

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chuckpullium August 08 2014 at 9:50 AM

"Malaysia Airlines makes big change??" "Big change?" For starters, I think a great change would for that airline to stop killing their passengers.

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gordonrobroy August 08 2014 at 10:32 AM

change the name---that always helps...

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manmi1 August 08 2014 at 10:31 AM

Is anyone brain-dead enough to fly these death traps in the sky any more?

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phrankly August 08 2014 at 9:02 AM

of course. and it will be re-named.

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onionson August 08 2014 at 5:56 AM

Great, now a once great airline will be taken over and run by the state. A Muslim state.

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1 reply
Mike onionson August 08 2014 at 6:31 AM

Muslim nations have already complained that airplanes resemble flying penises and that they should be covered when flying over women in their countries.

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1 reply
matty4849 Mike August 08 2014 at 10:45 AM

what an idiotic comment from an imbecile .

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jeanpoetpicard August 08 2014 at 2:36 AM

Now we know what happened to Flight 370...all the passengers were insured....and the Malaysian Government was the beneficiary!!!

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bubaxx32 August 08 2014 at 2:23 AM

OBUMA WILL FIX ALL THEIR PROBLEMS. JUST ASK HIM HE WILL GIVE YOU CHANGE.

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3 replies
frankieleunglaw August 08 2014 at 1:39 AM

Air Asia which is run by Malaysians makes money as a budget airline. Why can't MAS learn from Air Asia.

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