Malaysia Airlines, or an Airline Fighting to Keep Their Employees.

Malaysia’s beleaguered flag carrier will be paying each employee RM2,000 as a token of gratitude for standing by the airline despite its financial losses made worse by the loss of two Boeing planes this year.

The Edge Financial Daily reported today that Malaysia Airlines (MAS) chairman Tan Sri Md Nor Yusof announced the ex-gratia payment two days before the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations and that all 19,577 staff can expect the payment as early as next month.

“The management, in consultation with the government, has agreed to give RM2,000 in ex-gratia payment to all staff,” an unnamed industry source was quoted saying.

According to the report, the payment is expected to total RM39 million and will drive MAS — already reeling from the loss of MH370 in March and more recently MH17 — further into the red.

The report cited Maybank Investment Bank Bhd airline analyst Mohshin Aziz as saying MAS only has cash in hand of RM500 million, adding that the amount would see the airline only through another 200 days.

According to Mohshin, the airline has a cash flow of RM3.25 billion as at March 31, but as much as RM2 billion was derived from forward ticket sales while another RM400 million was meant as aircraft deposits.

MAS has been operating at a loss of about RM5 million a day since January, he added.

The carrier posted a net loss of RM1.15 billion for financial year 2013 and is due to announce its second quarter result in August.

On July 19, MAS announced it will waive charges for customers who wanted to make amendments to their flight itineraries to any destination, including cancelling and getting a full refund.

The airline offered the waiver to those who would be traveling between July 18 and December 31 this year.

MAS has been bleeding money for the past few years but its fortunes worsened after its Boeing 777 flight MH370, carrying 239 people on board disappeared mid-flight to Beijing on March 8, while its second jumbo jet, flight MH17 was shot down over war-torn eastern Ukraine on July 17, killing all 298 people aboard.

Source:  The Malay Online

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