Malaysia Airlines (MAS) owner Khazanah Nasional Bhd has short listed four bidders for the sale of the national flag carrier.
Qatar Airways, Japan Airlines and China Southern Airlines are among the four short listed investors, after having invited initial proposals from around 20.bidders.
The Government of Malaysia, over the years has attempted a number of restructuring efforts under various management teams, but failed to turnaround the loss making airline.
Malaysia Airlines only has enough cash to sustain its operations till April next year., forcing the Khazanah to decide on the sale soon.
However, the Government has not decided if it will permit a new shareholder to take majority ownership of MAS, but Malaysian Minister of Economic Affairs, Mohamed Azmin Ali told parliament, “The government will ensure that through Khazanah, we will still have important stake and influence in the new structure.”
Malaysia Airlines was privatized in 2014 after it suffered two fatal crashes in less than five months. The new management set out string of recovering plans including cutting about 6000 jobs and transferred the airline in 2015 to a new company, Malaysia Airlines Berhad.
Khazanah Bhd, the new owner expected to make the airline profitable by 2019, but reported a loss of more than 6 billion ringgit last year, 3 billion of which was attributed to the failure of Malaysia Airlines to return to profitability.
MAS, one of the Asia’s oldest Airline with 72 years of history, operates a fleet of 81 aircraft to 64 destination, today.