Malaysia Airlines to Increase Fares, Sell Assets to Reverse Losses

Malaysia Airlines plans to increase its fares and sell some of its assets to reverse huge losses, according to a published report.

Deputy Transport Minister Douglas Uggah Embas said the national carrier plans to hike fares for both domestic and international routes would take into account the prices offered by other regional airlines so that it remained competitive, The New Straits Times reported Wednesday.

Malaysian Airline System Bhd. operates one of Southeast Asia's biggest passenger fleets, with about 100 planes and more than 9,000 employees. The government owns 69 percent of the airline, which analysts said has been hit by poor management, escalating operating costs and stiff competition in the region.

In the quarter through June, the airline reported its worst quarterly performance in four years, with a 280.7 million ringgit ($74.5 million) loss it blamed on high fuel and operating costs. Analysts expect even worse losses in the quarter through September. Those figures will be released next week.

Embas said Malaysia Airlines would offer its training facilities and aircraft maintenance expertise to other airlines. It would also try to find better returns from its ground-handling services, such as check in and baggage handling, he said.

In the U.S., Malaysia Airlines flies to Los Angeles and Newark, N.J.

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