Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, Hugh Dunleavy, commercial director for the majority government-owned airline said the Malaysian government has already begun a strategic review to assess the future shape of the business – a process speeded up as a result of the downing of Flight MH17, killing all 298 on board just under two weeks ago.
He adds: “There are several options on the table, but all involve creating an airline fit for purpose in what is a new era for us, and other airlines.”
Those options are reported to include the renaming and rebranding of the airline as the company looks to overcome recent tragedies and “emerge stronger”.
Malaysia Airlines’ shares have dropped 29 per cent since the start of 2014 as it has been affected by a drop in ticket sales and competition from low-cost Malaysia-based carrier AirAsia.
Dunleavy also called for airlines and aviation bodies to “set more stringent standards” for where aircraft can fly over war zones. Flight MH17 was brought down over the war-torn eastern Ukraine, in an area and at an altitude where Ukranian authorities had permitted flying.
The disaster, which took place on 17 July, happened just months after flight MH370 went missing on its journey between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing. It is believed to have crashed in the Indian Ocean, but the wreckage and bodies of the 239 passengers and crew on board have yet to be found.