The Chief Executive of disaster-hit Malaysia Airlines says that the carrier is ''technically bankrupt.'' As Amy Pollock reports he also says a third of jobs will be cut and some international routes will be scrapped.
Malaysia Airlines - in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Now its new chief executive Christoph Mueller says the troubled airline is 'technically bankrupt'. He says the decline started long before last year's disasters. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MALAYSIA AIRLINES CEO CHRISTOPH MUELLER, SAYING: "What we currently assume in our financial projection, but you see, the airline business is unfortunately not so easy. Because what we have seen in U.S. Dollar-Ringgit volatility of the last six months, what we have seen in U.S. Dollar fuel price volatility of the last 12 months." Malaysia Airlines recorded its worst quarterly loss since late 2011 in its final earnings announcement as a public company in the first quarter of 2014. The loss-making carrier was at the centre of two tragedies last year - Flight MH370, carrying 239 passengers and crew, disappeared in March without trace. And last July, another jet was shot down over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 on board. Mueller now plans to cut a third of jobs, scrap international routes and review its long-haul fleet in a bid to return to profit. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MALAYSIA AIRLINES CEO CHRISTOPH MUELLER, SAYING: "Of course it's pretty impressive and will affect our bottom line tremendously. Our current projection, ceteris paribus, would give us a fair chance to break even in '18." Last August the airline's state owners privatised the company . But Mueller's track record is stellar - he successfully restructured Ireland's state-backed Aer Lingus and spearheaded a revamp at Lufthansa.