MAS to axe three more flight routes

PETALING JAYA - Malaysia Airlines will cancel three more routes as it rationalises its network.

It will stop flying to Kunming, Krabi and Cochin - seen as unprofitable routes - in the coming weeks.

Last week, it suspended flights to Frankfurt.

MAS' parent company Khazanah Nasional Bhd said the airline had taken steps to suspend loss-making routes and further rationalisation was being considered.

"Moving forward, the national carrier will be principally commercial while supporting national development objectives, provide broad connectivity via partnerships and offer refreshed premium products," Khazanah said in its third quarterly review of MAS' restructuring.

MAS Bhd, which will be a full-fledged international carrier and not a regional airline as planned earlier, will take over MAS operations from Sept 1.

Khazanah said the new airline's network would serve ASEAN, China, India and domestic markets, with services to key international destinations in Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Britain and Saudi Arabia.

It said the network would also have an expanded reach into Africa, the United States and Europe via potential partnerships that were being explored.

On Monday, MAS terminated the services of its entire 20,000 staff, who will leave in stages over the next few months.

Sources said the first batch of nearly 1,000 staff left yesterday and 4,000 others were expected to leave by the end of August.

MAS Bhd also offered jobs to 14,000 employees on Monday.

Khazanah said payments and benefits provided to the employees joining MAS Bhd and those leaving MAS would add up to RM1.5bil (S$550 million).