Unconfirmed reports has surfaced that Malaysia Airlines had put several of its aircraft, including its six A380 super-jumbos, on sale or lease.
According to an aviation industry site, Leeham News, MAS is offering for sale or lease all six of its Airbus A380s, its two Boeing 747-400Fs, four Airbus A330-200Fs and four Boeing 777-200ERs, as it seeks to restructure following a disastrous 2014.
Another site, Flightglobal, added that an official from the airline had said that the airline intends to “approach the market to dispose some assets”, but would not be drawn into which types would be sold. The site said MAS had four A330 freighters, as well as 13 passenger A330s plus 13 777-200ERs.
Although not verified, the news has sent jitters across the airline’s crew and pilots, as they see it as the first signs of downsizing the workforce.
The sale could mean that 250 pilots and 300 crew members might be made redundant.
Although this is not the first time that talk of aircraft sale and lease has surfaced, it has never involved such big numbers.
Just weeks ago, there was talk that MAS was in negotiations with Turkish Airlines to lease out two of its A380s. However, this had fallen through.
MAS. in a restructuring mode, will downsize its workforce to 14,000 people, thereby letting go of about 6,000 employees. The migration will take place on Sept 1.
MAS took delivery of its first A380 in May 2013 and flies the aircraft on the London and Paris routes. It had earlier used the aircraft for the Hong Kong route, but found it difficult to fill the plane since it seats more than 450 people.
Source: The Star