The ailing Malaysian airlines hopes to have found a savior in its new German CEO, Christoph Mueller as he makes headway with the initial plan of slashing 6000 of its 20,000 staff. Speaking at a news conference, Mueller said “We are technically bankrupt… the decline of performance started long before the tragic events of 2014.”
Having earned a moniker of ‘The Terminator’ he is known for his downsizing strategy to reduce company’s costs, previously at Aer Lingus and Belgium’s Sabena. Mueller said that the bleeding airline could break even by 2018 if his restructuring guidelines are followed- cutting jobs, selling surplus aircrafts and refurbishing its entire international fleet. Capacity measures would include “reducing aircraft size on certain routes, reducing frequency on certain routes, and certain cases abandoning the route altogether,” he said.
Already incurring losses because of stiff competition with regional players, the twin disasters last year put the final nail in the coffin. The remnants of MH370 still haven’t been found. Controversy still persists around the real cause that brought the airline down and crashed it into the Indian ocean. MH17 met a tragic fate over the skies of Ukraine when it was shot down by a military missile.
Mueller was making his first public appearance as CEO since being hired last month by the carrier’s owner, Malaysian state fund Khazanah, to lead the restructuring.