Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is suspected to have put several of its aircraft, including its six A380 super-jumbos, up for sale or lease.
Speculation that this has occurred is rife, surfacing most recently in The Star, Malaysia, which mentioned “unconfirmed reports” to that effect were circulating a day before Christoph Mueller took over last week as MAS managing director/group chief executive.
The Star mentioned an aviation industry site, Leeham News, which reported that MAS is offering for sale or lease all six of its Airbus A380s, its two Boeing 747-400Fs, four Airbus A330-200Fs and four Boeing 777-200ERs, as it seeks to restructure following a disastrous 2014.
Another site, Flightglobal, has reported a MAS official saying the airline intended to “approach the market to dispose of some assets”, though the official would not disclose which types would be sold. The site said MAS had 17 A330s (four are freighters and the others carry passengers) as well as 13 777-200ERs.
According to the Star, the news has sent jitters across the airline’s flight and cabin crew. They view it as the first signs of downsizing the workforce, potentially meaning that 250 pilots and 300 crew might be made redundant.
“Even before Mueller is on board, the plans are already out,” an aviation executive told the paper.
It is speculated MAS may downsize its workforce to 14,000 people from 1 September 2015, shedding 6000 existing employees.
Written by William Sykes