Missing jet a big blow for Malaysia Airlines

2014-03-08 14:35
(<a href='www.shutterstock.com'>Shutterstock</a>)

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia Airlines, which was rocked on Saturday by the presumed crash of one of its planes, has long been a respected name in regional aviation, enjoying an enviable safety record.

Flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing disappeared in the early hours of Saturday morning, triggering a vast search effort in the South China Sea and sparking grave fears for the 239 people on board.

The incident will be a major blow to the airline, which has struggled to remain profitable recently against a host of nimble competitors, particularly the rise of budget airlines.

Malaysian Airlines flies about 37 000 passengers daily to 80 destinations across Asia, and to Europe and the United States. It operates more than 250 flights a day.

The carrier has suffered few incidents in its history and has a solid safety record.

Its worst accident came in 1977, when a hijacking and subsequent crash in southern Malaysia killed 93 passengers and seven crew.

The airline has a fleet of 88 aircraft including Boeing 747-400s, Boeing 777-200s and Airbus A380-800s.

The plane that disappeared on Saturday somewhere over the South China Sea - believed near Vietnam airspace - was a Boeing 777-200, considered one of the safest planes in the industry.

First formed in 1947 as Malayan Airways, the airline went through a series of organisational changes culminating in its 1972 re-launch under its current name.

The flag carrier's steady expansion gained pace in the 1980s, benefiting from the Malaysian economy's rapid export-led growth. Its fleet and route system grew rapidly.

But the Asian financial crisis that rocked the region in 1997 pushed the airline into the red, forcing it to undertake a series of steps including cutting unprofitable routes and reducing costs.

Mounting losses-

The company subsequently see-sawed between profit and loss, with its balance sheet looking increasingly shaky.

It has bled red ink in recent years as its struggles to fend off competition from rivals such as fast-growing Malaysia-based budget airline AirAsia.

"This incident comes at a most unfortunate time for the airline which is undergoing a transformation to return to profit," said Shukor Yusof, aviation analyst with Standard & Poor's Equity Research in Singapore.

"It will further aggravate its road to profitability."

Malaysia Airlines has drawn derision from some observers and analysts with its announcement of a series of "recovery" plans aimed at steering it back into the black over the years.

None has succeeded, and critics have accused the government of keeping the state-linked airline afloat with cash injections of taxpayers' money rather than launching painful and necessary reforms.

Analysts also blame poor management, government interference, a bloated workforce, and powerful, change-resistant unions for preventing the airline from remaining competitive.

In 2011, it chalked up a record$767m loss, due in part to rising fuel costs.

Its managers admitted in 2012 the airline was in "crisis", implementing yet another cost-cutting campaign.

Malaysia Airlines recorded four successive quarterly losses in 2013 and warned of a "challenging" year ahead due to intense competition.

Despite its troubles, the airline has continued to win accolades for the quality of its service.

Last year, it became a full member of Oneworld, one of the world's largest airline code-share alliances, connecting it to some 850 destinations in 150 countries across the group's network.

Read more on:    china  |  malaysia  |  air travel  |  malaysia airlines flight mh370  |  aviation
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
7 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Music

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Sales Assistant - Canal Walk

Cape Town
Service Solutions Staffing

Carrick Associate

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Carrick Financial Services

Archivist

Bellville
Cozens Recruitment Group ( Western Cape)
R23 000 - R25 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The quest for understanding has reached a new intense emotional level. The more tempestuous your emotions are, the bigger the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.