On Tuesday, Malaysia Airlines welcomed the formation of their new company, Malaysia Airlines Berhad. CEO Christoph Mueller walked through Kuala Lumpur International Airport, along with other staff members and senior managers, to mark the occasion. Passengers arriving and departing from Kuala Lumpur were greeted by the staff members, a warm welcome to Malaysia’s new national carrier.
Malaysia Airlines Berhad CEO Christoph Mueller said, “We are very excited to welcome today, the start of our new company. We have been working hard for the past months to ensure a smooth and successful transition and we would like to thank our customers and airline partners for their continued support during this period.”
According to Malaysia Airlines Berhad, their Air Operating Certificate was received on August 28, 2015, and their operations began right on time. Abbreviated as MAB, the new airline experienced an 89.8% on time performance rate on their first day in operation.This change follows the extensive financial struggles in which Malaysia Airlines had experienced for years prior. Their problems were worsened by the unsolved disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in March 2014, and the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in July 2014.
As a part of the new direction of the company, Malaysia Airlines has downsized their staff significantly to allow for a quick financial recovery. The company has already reduced its workforce down to 14,000 employees from their previous 20,000, and has been slowly re-examining its aircraft fleet. Just back in May, the airline announced it would be selling all six of its Airbus A380 aircraft in an effort to raise capital while also capitalizing on its new target market.
Reports have suggested Malaysia Airlines is attempting to convert from being a full-fledged national carrier into a regional airline that operates mostly within Southeast Asia. With this change, the airline does not need larger aircraft such as the A380 that are best suited for long-distance flights. his sudden change is all being done under the direction of new CEO, Christoph Mueller. Mueller has over 25 years of experience in turning around airlines, and is most recently known for the financial recovery of Aer Lingus in Ireland.
While many are worried that this new airline may never be success, CEO Christoph Mueller has a positive and hopeful outlook for MAB, adding to his statement, “we look forward to enhancing the inflight experience of our customers and embodying the reason to travel on us, which is to visit Malaysia.”