Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB) Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Peter Bellew gave an interesting interview on Tuesday to the New Straits Time Business in which he revealed plans for the company to break even by the end of this year and turn in a profit in the following year.
MAB CEO also revealed the company would be relisted in the first quarter of 2019
This interview came out on the same day that Malaysia, Australia and China officially announced the end of a nearly three-year long underwater search for the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which went missing from the radar on 8th March, 2014, presumably somewhere in the Indian Ocean.
In an interview, Bellew said:
Now, there is a belief among the staff that it's going to be successful; that we will make it. We will achieve the goals that we have set to turn the airline around in the next couple of years.
The Managing Director said he believes the company’s brand remains strong after the effort they put into re-connecting with the public, passengers and travel agents after the two disasters that befell the airline and Malaysian aviation in general.
To back this claim, Bellew said:
We are now up at the 80% load factor. You don't get back up into the 80% load factor if people don't love your brand. Obviously, there was nothing wrong with the brand. We just didn't tell anybody that we existed.
Not long after MH370 disappeared, in June same year (2014), Malaysia Airlines lost another plane as MH17 was shot down over war-torn Ukraine, killing all 298 passengers and crew on board. The plane was hit, the Dutch investigation revealed, by a Russian-made Buk missile.
The MH370 mystery, however, remains unsolved, despite an official search costing around $200 million and covering an area of approximately 120,000 square kilometers.
Following the two accidents, MAB went on a major restructuring exercise, which included cutting a number of routes, mass layoffs and corporate reorganization.
Today MAB is largely on healthy feet and expects to increase its fleet size with two Airbus A350 aircraft by the end of October and four A350 in 2018, as well as the Boeing 737 MAX in 2019.