MASwings may shift operations to Sabah
Published on: Monday, October 20, 2014
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KOTA KINABALU: MASwings is said to be contemplating shutting down its Kuala Lumpur office in an attempt to consolidate the airline's operations. It is also understood that the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) subsidiary may also shift its present hub in Miri to Kota Kinabalu, while its present Kuala Lumpur workforce may be transferred, here.

However, efforts to obtain a confirmation of the plan were futile. The airline had last month indicated there would be a 30 per cent job cut to right-size its operations and speed up the process of transferring Maswings operations here.

Based on news reports, Khazanah Nasional Bhd, which owns 70 per cent in MAS, would offer staff four options including accepting employment in a proposed new firm, accepting a voluntary separation scheme, or be re-deployed.

At a press briefing last month, Khazanah Nasional Bhd Managing Director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar announced that a new company would be set up to take over MAS' operations by July 1.

A new Chief Executive Officer would be appointed and the numbers of employees would be reduced to 14,000, while operations will focus on regional routes, before the new firm took over operations next year.

Although the whole exercise including initiating a recovery plan is estimated a whopping RM6 billion, both local Maswings and MAS staff believed the job cutting exercise had already begun.

According to sources, changes are already happening within the organisation at the management level, while changes at the graded level will begin from November till December.

MAS which has been de-listed expects the new company will return to profit from 2015 to 2017 and re-listed once again sometime in 2018 and 2019.

MAS suffered further losses in the second quarter ended June 30, 2014 (Q2, 2014) with net losses of RM307.04mil compared with net loss of RM175.98mil a year ago due to the impacts of the tragedies involving flights MH370 and MH17.

The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in March 2014 continued to impact the airline's Q2, 2014 financial results with MAS reporting a net loss of RM307mil due to lower yield and seat factor.


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