The review into the future of Malaysia Airlines is considering a name change, according to various media reports.
This comes in the wake of the two losses of Boeing 777-200ERs in the space of four months and years of poor financial performance. The Financial Times said that given the importance of tourism to the Malaysian economy, the government would likely keep the country’s name in any rebranding.
Malaysia’s The Edge Daily reported that one possibility on the table is a merger with low-cost long-haul operator AirAsia X, although Maybank analysts said this was unlikely due to lack of synergies, anti-competitive issues and the fact that it would be a merger of two weak airlines.
The airline is notoriously overstaffed, and any meaningful restructuring would have to include significant job cuts. This has been a stumbling block in previous attempts to return the carrier to profitability – and scuppered a proposed merger with AirAsia a few years ago.