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Business News

Malaysia Air fights to survive


Malaysia Airlines is stepping up efforts to cut costs to survive, after the mysterious disappearance of its flight MH370 which has resulted in the biggest crisis in its 40-year history, a senior executive said on Monday.

The Boeing 777-200, carrying 239 passengers and crew, vanished from radar screens on 8 March shortly after taking off from Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing.

Before the disaster management had hoped to break even in 2014 after three years of losses but last month it posted a record quarterly loss of 443.4m ringgit ($138m) for the three months ended 31 March.

The second quarter this year is “a challenge” but the management wants to implement measures that, if successful, could enable the airline to break even in 2015, Hugh Dunleavy, the carrier’s director of commercial operations, told Reuters at the annual meeting of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in Doha, Qatar.

“I don’t think there will be any sacred cows,” said Mr Dunleavy. “Every part of the airline will have to be looked at very carefully.” He declined to comment on suggestions that the airline could be taken private or that it might sell off its engineering business. But he added that “legacy costs” that have been in place for “the last 10 to 20 years” could be cut.