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Can Malaysia Airlines survive this latest tragedy?


Can Malaysia Airlines survive this latest tragedy?


The second fatal incident involving Malaysia Airlines in four months is posing questions about its survival.

Malaysia’s government was already working on a rescue plan for the flag carrier which was struggling to cope with high costs, a bloated workforce and intense competition.

The latest aircraft loss caused the company’s shares to fall sharply.

At one stage on Friday they were down 18 percent, and they finished the session 11 percent lower.

That brought the total loss for Malaysia Airlines shares to 35 percent since the start of 2014.

The sell off of the stock accelerated after the still unexplained disappearance of Flight MH370 with 239 people on board in March after it left Kuala Lumpur for Beijing.

Asked about the airline’s future at a briefing in Kuala Lumpur on Friday government officials declined to answer, but aviation experts have said bankruptcy is very probable unless urgent action is taken.

Taking the airline private and restructuring it, slimming it down or possibly initiating a full-scale rebranding are among measures that could be considered, said Leo Fattorini, aviation partner at international law firm Bird & Bird.

The other option is to seek a tie-up with a foreign airline such as Etihad Airways, he said.

“This latest incident will now compromise the brand from a European perspective,” Fattorini said.

“You’ve got to ask whether the brand can survive this latest tragedy?”

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