|(Flight MH370) Malaysia Airlines chief in no mood to quit
Loss-making state-owned carrier Malaysia Airlines, has “got a lot of work to do'' recovering from the disappearance of the Beijing-bound flight on March 8, the chief executive said.
The airline has reported hefty losses for three years running, and the missing flight MH370 tragedy now raises the specter of a potential drop in bookings over safety concerns and possible huge payouts to passengers' families.
“First and foremost, obviously this incident has affected the airline,'' CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said during a regular MH370 press briefing in Kuala Lumpur.
“We've got a lot of work to do. The airline obviously needs to get itself together.''
The unexplained tragedy has been a public relations disaster for the airline, which had previously boasted a solid safety record.
Relatives of the 153 Chinese passengers on board have criticized the airline and Malaysian government as “liars'' and “murderers,’’ alleging the truth was being concealed.
Airlines can take “up to six months to recover from what we call a 'market reputation issue' and ... we intend to do that quicker,'' Ahmad Jauhari said.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal published Sunday, he said ticket sales had suffered after MH370, calling it “natural.''
But the newspaper said he did not provide specifics on sales, nor comment on how the airline's financial results would be affected.
When he asked today whether he would resign, Ahmad Jauhari said: “As far as my own personal position, I have work to do here.''
Malaysia's state investment arm owns 70 percent of the carrier.
The company announced a 1.17 billion ringgit (US$360 million) loss for 2013. It lost 2.5 billion ringgit and 433 million ringgit, respectively, in 2011 and 2012.—AFP