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Malaysia Airlines to Cut 6,000 Staff in $1.9 Billion Overhaul

Malaysia Airlines will cut 6,000 workers as part of an $1.9 billion overhaul to revive its damaged brand - but there are no plans for a name change.

Malaysia Airlines will cut 6,000 workers as part of an $1.9 billion overhaul announced Friday to revive its damaged brand after being hit by double passenger jet disasters. The cut represents about 30 percent of its current workforce of 20,000. There are no current plans to change the airline’s name, but a search for a new CEO for the airline is underway in a bid to reach profitability by the end of 2017. "Recent tragic events and ongoing difficulties at MAS have created a perfect storm that is allowing this restructuring to take place," said Azman Mokhtar, managing director of Khazanah Nasional, the state investment company that owns 69 percent of the airline. "The combination of measures announced today will enable our national airline to be revived."

A substantial revamp has long been on the cards for Malaysia Airlines, which was struggling with chronic financial problems even before it was hit by the double disasters this year. Investigators continue to scour the southern Indian Ocean for MH370, which vanished while en route to Beijing on March 8 with 239 people on board. In July, 298 people were killed when MH17 was blasted out of the sky as it flew over eastern Ukraine. Travelers on recent long-haul flights have posted photos on social media of nearly empty cabins and departure lounges. The airline says passengers fell 11 percent in July from the year before.


- Reuters