Last updated: 03:45 PM ET, Thu July 02 2015

Malaysia Airlines Poised For Dramatic Changes

Airlines & Airports | Malaysia Airlines | Rich Thomaselli | May 26, 2015

Malaysia Airlines Poised For Dramatic Changes

This week could bring dramatic changes to troubled Malaysia Airlines as the embattled carrier begins a massive financial restructuring that includes a new name and the termination of a third of its 20,000+ workforce.

A voluntary administrator, Mohammad Faiz Azmi, was appointed Monday as part of a restructuring. Azmi will oversee the transfer of assets to the new company, which will also undergo a name change come September.

Malaysia Airlines’ new CEO, Christopher Mueller, issued a statement over the weekend assuring passengers that it was still business as usual for the carrier.

“This appointment does not affect our daily operations or existing reservations,’’ he said. “You can continue to make reservations in full confidence that our flights and schedules are operating as normal, that tickets sold will be honored, and that our Enrich frequent flyer program continues with miles and status preserved.”

Mueller told Reuters New Service the carrier will be called Malaysia Airlines Berhad as of September 1, and will take on a structure similar to a start-up airline.

“It’s not a continuation of the old company in a new disguise, everything is new,” he told Reuters.

Malaysia Airlines suffered two tragedies last year that hastened the carrier’s financial fall. The airline was already three years in debt when Flight MH370 disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March of 2014 with 239 passengers and crew aboard. Not a single trace of the plane has been found in the 14 months since.

In July of 2014, Flight MH17 was shot down over disputed territory in Ukraine, killing all 298 people aboard.

As part of the restructuring, Malaysia Airlines announced last year that it would lay off a third of its 20,000 staff. Some of those layoffs are expected to begin this week.

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