MAS reports worst quarterly loss in 2 years
MALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) yesterday reported its largest quarterly loss in more than two years, hit by a sharp drop in passenger traffic after what it called the "dramatic impact" of the unexplained disappearance of Flight MH370 in March.
In a statement, MAS said its net loss expanded to RM443.4 million (S$172 million) in the first quarter of this year, from a net loss of RM278.8 million in the corresponding period last year.
The loss is the carrier's worst on a quarterly basis since October-December 2011. It has lost money for the past three years, beset by high costs and stiff competition.
"The tragic MH370 incident had a dramatic impact on the traditionally weak first-quarter performance," the company said in a statement to the Malaysia stock exchange.
It said cancellations were high and long-haul travel declined after MH370 went missing on March 8. Sales in China slumped 60 per cent in March, it added.
Analysts had said that the situation was too uncertain to issue estimates for the first set of earnings to be reported by MAS since MH370 went missing.
The company said on Wednesday that it is undertaking a "thorough review" of its business plan as it seeks a path to recovery. Measures could include a partial sale of its engineering unit and an upgrade of its ageing fleet.