Malaysian politicians are looking at the possibility of either shuttering the state owned airline, selling it off, or ploughing yet more money into it.
After twin losses that devastated the airlines reputation it went into restructuring, hiring two respected airline CEO’s neither of whom lasted a year. The politics at the airline and surrounding it were simply impossible to navigate.
The current CEO is a local and a company man his whole life, who’s ability to make a decision seems limited by his history there. That’s entirely understandable as the airline has been put through the ringer and staff are almost familial.
Some decisions have been bizarre. Reactivating the 747 in storage, prepping it to fly and then never using it.
Then they decided to withdraw the A380 fleet, nobody wanted to lease or buy them, so they came up with a Haj charter airline to try and use them, with limited success.
There’s been confusion over wether the flag livery is a new livery or not with some aircraft wearing it and others not.
The fare structure and business class operations have been equally confused. Nobody really seems to know where (and why) Malaysia Airlines is going.
So with continued losses the government is looking at a drastic alteration to the airline’s current drift.
The best result would be a sale, but who would take it on? Shuttering it seems a little over the top. Reinvestment would mean giving it leadership and real independence politicians in Malaysia would find hard to stomach.
In the end the best solution has to be a sale. Airlines like Malaysian can come back, but they must be allowed to do their own thing without constant political pressure and interference.
I think it would be a mistake to close it down, and suspect this is just politicians saying what they’re thinking rather than willing to carry out.
Either way, it needs new direction from the top and a strategic vision to take it forward.