Malaysia’s long haul airlines pursue restructuring deals to survive

Premium Analysis

Although all of Malaysia’s airlines are suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic, those that rely most heavily on distant international markets are predictably faring the worst. They are also likely to be the slowest to recover when international travel resumes in the post-COVID environment.

In recognition of their predicament, two locally based carriers that fly widebody aircraft on medium to long haul routes are scrambling to restructure their finances and business strategies. They need to do this in order to survive until international traffic resumes, and also to remain viable in what could be a subdued market for years.

Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia X have very different business models – one a legacy full service airline and the other a low cost carrier – but they share some of the same challenges.

Solving these issues could actually make both airlines more sustainable in the long term than they were before the pandemic. As they say, never let a good crisis go to waste…

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