KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Airlines said its shares will be suspended from the country’s stock exchange on December 15 under a government plan to rescue the beleaguered carrier after two devastating aviation tragedies this year.
The national flag carrier, whose loss of both flight MH370 and MH17 compounded years of hefty financial bleeding, said the stock’s final day of trading would be December 12, followed three days later by the full suspension. The airline made the announcement in a filing with Kuala Lumpur’s stock exchange late on Thursday (Dec 4).
State investment fund Khazanah Nasional, which owns around 70 percent of the carrier, plans to acquire all remaining shares and take the carrier private in a bid to resuscitate the national brand.
Khazanah has already announced restructuring plans, which include pumping 6 billion ringgit (US$1.73 billion) into the airline, slashing 6,000 jobs – or 30 percent of its workforce – trimming its route network and replacing its chief executive.
Malaysia Airlines has been kept aloft for years by transfusions of public money while posting huge losses, with analysts blaming poor management, unwise business decisions and government meddling. Its losses have ballooned further in the wake of this year’s air disasters.
MH370 disappeared in March after inexplicably diverting from its Kuala Lumpur-Beijing course. The airliner, carrying 239 people, is believed to have crashed in the Indian Ocean, but no trace has been found.
MH17 went down in July in rebellion-torn eastern Ukraine – believed hit by a surface-to-air missile – killing all 298 aboard.
Malaysia Airlines previously had a solid safety record.