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Malaysia Airlines’ relisting hopes in jeopardy, says report

 | October 23, 2017

Industry player says the national carrier may have trouble achieving its turnaround goals within the stipulated timeframe.

peter-masPETALING JAYA: A business weekly warns that Malaysia Airlines’ “revolving door of CEOs” may impede its recovery plan, including its goal to be relisted by 2019.

Following the surprise resignation of Peter Bellew, the airline’s third CEO in three years, an industry player told Focus Malaysia it was doubtful if Malaysia Airlines could still achieve its turnaround goals in time.

“They need stability at top management to see it through. Obviously with Bellew leaving, so soon after (previous CEO Christoph) Mueller, this is a glaring problem that they still haven’t fixed.

“It will be a big question mark if they can turn a corner next year, let alone consider relisting prospects,” the industry player was quoted as saying.

Bellew joined Malaysia Airlines as chief operations officer in September 2015 and took over as chief executive in July last year. His three-year contract was due to expire in July 2019.

His predecessor Christoph Mueller was hired by Malaysia Airlines in March 2015 after its reputation and sales were hit by two aircraft losses the previous year.

Despite his successes, Mueller announced in April 2016 that he was leaving Malaysia Airlines two years ahead of his contract, citing unspecified personal reasons beyond his control.

Malaysia Airlines chief operating officer Izham Ismail was appointed as CEO following Bellew’s resignation. Izham will assume the role on Dec 1.

Malaysia Airlines’ RM6 billion five-year recovery plan was unveiled in August 2014.

Sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd, which owns 100% of the airline, planned to return it to profitability by late 2017 and re-list the company by 2018 or 2019.

Speaking shortly after taking over from Mueller, Bellew said he was confident of steering the airline back onto the stock market by 2019.

After Bellew’s resignation, though, the industry player told Focus Malaysia that deeper restructuring would be needed to achieve the turnaround deadlines.

“It’s not just a matter of cutting costs anymore. They will also have to review their business models.

“It (Malaysia Airlines) has to run like a budget airline to have any chance in the domestic market,” he was reported as saying.


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