KUALA LUMPUR Aug 20 Malaysia is considering
tapping one of its top economic policymakers to lead an overhaul
of Malaysia Airlines that aims to transform the
troubled carrier into a "premium airline", a newspaper reported
Idris Jala, who heads the government's Economic
Transformation Program, previously led the national airline from
2005 to 2009. He steered the firm from heavy losses to record
profits through hefty cost cutting, though critics have said it
was an unsustainable long-term model.
Malaysia Airlines, whose business has been devasted by the
unexplained disappearance of Flight MH370 and the shooting down
of Flight MH17 over Ukraine, is set to be taken private by state
fund and majority shareholder Khazanah Nasional.
Other candidates being considered for the top job include
Jamaludin Ibrahim, the chief executive of state-controlled
telecoms firm Axiata, the Edge Financial Daily said,
citing unidentified sources.
The report also cited an industry source as saying the
airline would be remodelled as a "premium airline" from a
full-service airline, with cuts to its domestic and
Jala has headed the government's Performance Management and
Delivery Unit since 2009, spearheading a $444 billion government
effort to lift private investment and achieve developed nation
status by 2020.
An official in Jala's office said he was not aware of the
The loss-making carrier, currently led by Chief Executive
Ahmad Jauhari Yayha, said on Tuesday it has postponed
publication of second-quarter earnings from Wednesday until Aug.
28, likely its last set of earnings as a listed company. It is
also preparing a restructuring package, which is expected to be
announced by the end of August.
(Reporting by Stuart Grudgings; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)