Malaysia Airlines new CEO, Christoph Mueller, declared on Monday that the airline is “technically bankrupt”, and has been forced to cut 6,000 jobs as part of the recovery process which also involves maintaining a trimmed route network, revamping brand image and overhauling company structure.
Mueller made public his plans for the troubled flag carrier for the first time since the aviation turnaround specialist was brought in on May 1 to save it from collapse.
We are technically bankrupt and that decline of performance started long before the tragic events of 2014,” Mueller told reporters, referring to a pair of disasters that rocked the already loss-making airline last year.
“The restructuring process will start today with a hard reset.”
Mueller, whose job-cutting stints at Ireland’s Aer Lingus and Belgium’s Sabena earned him the nickname “The Terminator”, said Malaysia Airlines’ desperate situation made drastic action unavoidable.
Beset by poor management, Malaysia Airlines had struggled for years to remain competitive, posting losses for most of the past five years.
But its two shocking disasters in 2014 were the final straw, pushing the carrier to the brink of collapse.
In March of last year Flight MH370 disappeared with 239 passengers and crew aboard and remains missing. Four months later Flight MH17 was blown out of the sky, killing all 298 aboard, by a suspected ground-to-air missile over Ukraine.