Malaysia Airlines wants to attract investors ‘once business improves’

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Christoph Mueller, new CEO of Malaysia Airlines, expects turnaround in 2018
Christoph Mueller, new CEO of Malaysia Airlines, expects turnaround in 2018

The turnaround of “technically bankrupt” Malaysia Airlines will involve potential investors in the main airline business or in maintenance or ground handling, the carrier’s new chief executive officer, Christoph Mueller, told the Wall Street Journal in an interview published on June 7.

Investors will be approached once business starts improving, he said, adding that he expected the airline to break even in 2018.

“We already want to prepare right now for a future investor in the airline or in the maintenance business or ground handling,” the paper quoted him as saying.

‘“As part of that plan, the new group will feature around a dozen companies, covering different activities that could make future partial business sales easier. Malaysia Airlines has been struggling amid competition from low-cost carriers and strong rivals in the long-haul business,” he said.

He went on to say that the search for the wreckage of MH370 was continuing to depress certain markets, including Australia and Britain, but he expected financial performance to start improving in 2017 once “overhaul efforts start to yield results.”

closed-counter-of-malaysia-airlinesThe paper said Mueller “plans to sharply reduce the cost base of the carrier not unlike what he achieved at Air Lingus before joining the Asian carrier in May. The new group will have around 14,000 employees, with fewer than 10,000 at the airline.”

Mueller also told the Wall Street Journal that a key ingredient of the overhaul would be the introduction of a new information technology system, which he said would take about two years to set up.

“It should allow the airline to optimize staff use in a bid to lower costs and boost efficiency. It also should allow the airline to offer a high degree of booking flexibility, with passengers able to mix economy and premium class bookings on a single ticket in a bid to maximize sales opportunities,” Mueller said.

“Final decisions on the fleet and route structure from September on will be made in the next two months, he added.

The airline will also seek access to markets it currently isn’t serving well, such as China.

“Malaysia Airlines’ government owners also have given clearance for the group to make customer-facing improvements. New full-flat business class seats on its A330 wide bodies and upgrades to airport lounges are due to be introduced next year, as well as improvements to catering, Mueller said. An enhanced in-flight entertainment system also is on the agenda, he added.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Christoph Mueller, new CEO of Malaysia Airlines, expects turnaround in 2018

The turnaround of “technically bankrupt” Malaysia Airlines will involve potential investors in the main airline business or in maintenance or ground handling, the carrier’s new chief executive officer, Christoph Mueller, told the Wall Street Journal in an interview published on June 7.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Christoph Mueller, new CEO of Malaysia Airlines, expects turnaround in 2018
Christoph Mueller, new CEO of Malaysia Airlines, expects turnaround in 2018

The turnaround of “technically bankrupt” Malaysia Airlines will involve potential investors in the main airline business or in maintenance or ground handling, the carrier’s new chief executive officer, Christoph Mueller, told the Wall Street Journal in an interview published on June 7.

Investors will be approached once business starts improving, he said, adding that he expected the airline to break even in 2018.

“We already want to prepare right now for a future investor in the airline or in the maintenance business or ground handling,” the paper quoted him as saying.

‘“As part of that plan, the new group will feature around a dozen companies, covering different activities that could make future partial business sales easier. Malaysia Airlines has been struggling amid competition from low-cost carriers and strong rivals in the long-haul business,” he said.

He went on to say that the search for the wreckage of MH370 was continuing to depress certain markets, including Australia and Britain, but he expected financial performance to start improving in 2017 once “overhaul efforts start to yield results.”

closed-counter-of-malaysia-airlinesThe paper said Mueller “plans to sharply reduce the cost base of the carrier not unlike what he achieved at Air Lingus before joining the Asian carrier in May. The new group will have around 14,000 employees, with fewer than 10,000 at the airline.”

Mueller also told the Wall Street Journal that a key ingredient of the overhaul would be the introduction of a new information technology system, which he said would take about two years to set up.

“It should allow the airline to optimize staff use in a bid to lower costs and boost efficiency. It also should allow the airline to offer a high degree of booking flexibility, with passengers able to mix economy and premium class bookings on a single ticket in a bid to maximize sales opportunities,” Mueller said.

“Final decisions on the fleet and route structure from September on will be made in the next two months, he added.

The airline will also seek access to markets it currently isn’t serving well, such as China.

“Malaysia Airlines’ government owners also have given clearance for the group to make customer-facing improvements. New full-flat business class seats on its A330 wide bodies and upgrades to airport lounges are due to be introduced next year, as well as improvements to catering, Mueller said. An enhanced in-flight entertainment system also is on the agenda, he added.

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