Saturday, January 16, 2021

No bailout for Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia, govt says

Finance minister says it is up to the shareholders to provide the necessary support.

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Putrajaya says it will not bail out Malaysia Airlines or AirAsia, the country’s largest airlines which have taken the brunt of the recent lockdown and closure of borders to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Tengku Aziz said the government would let Khazanah, which owns Malaysia Airlines, decide on the future of the company.

“The government feels at this point in time that we will not bail out any airlines.

“So, it’s up to the shareholders of the respective airlines to provide any support that they feel appropriate and necessary,” he told CNBC in an interview.

Malaysia Airlines has reported a 94% dip in its finances since travel restrictions were imposed across the world.

The company, which was already in trouble over the loss of its MH370 and MH17 flights six years ago, had been offering employees no-pay leave and implementing pay cuts for those in the higher salary bracket.

AirAsia and its sister airline AirAsia X meanwhile are said to be preparing for another round of lay-offs.

The group had reached out to the government but did not receive any feedback.

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