First-quarter net loss rises to equivalent of €100 million
The “dramatic impact” of the disappearance of flight MH370 more than two months ago has resulted in Malaysia Airlines’ worst quarter in over two years, the airline says, bringing a sharp drop in overall passenger traffic and a drop in sales in China.
The carrier’s first-quarter net loss increased to MYR443.4 million (€100 million) from MYR278.8 million in Q1 2013.
Even before the disappearance of MH370 on March 8, Malaysia Airlines had been suffering from high costs and hard competition from regional and global carriers, losing money steadily over the last three years. Rivals include AirAsia on short-haul routes and Gulf carriers and AirAsia X in the medium and long-haul market.
MH370 has put “additional stress” on what will be a challenging year, the airline said, adding that it was drafting a new cost-slashing business plan. Since March 8 there have been large numbers of cancellations and a decline in long-haul travel. Sales in China fell 60% in March.