Malaysia's state investment fund offers $436 million to buy out the shares it doesn't own in Malaysia Airline System and take it private. The government will carry out a ''complete overhaul'' of the troubled national airline after it was hit by two devastating jetliner disasters this year. Joanna Partridge reports
It's been a disastrous year for Malaysia Airlines. Hit by two devastating jetliner incidents. Now Malaysia's state investment fund, Khazanah, offered a $436 million buy-out the shares it doesn't already own. The move to de-list the national airline and take it private was widely expected. It paves the way for it to take steps like cutting back on less-profitable routes, trimming the bloated payroll and putting a new management team in place. The government's promised a "complete overhaul" of the airline. The carrier - with a fleet of 150 planes and nearly 20,000 staff - has been losing money for three years as it's struggled against low-cost competitors. That was before Flight MH370 carrying 239 passengers and crew went missing in March, shortly after taking off from Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing. And then in July Flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 on board. Previous attempts to restructure Malaysia Airlines have been politically fraught - with influential unions opposed to job losses. The head of the airline's main union has said they'll support the government plan - if the current top management team was replaced. A full-scale rebranding may also be considered as it tries to win back consumer confidence after ticket sales slumped following the twin tragedies.