Malaysia Airlines A330-300
Malaysia Airlines has reported a second-quarter net loss of MYR305.7 million ($95.1 million), widened from a net loss of MYR175.2 million in the year-ago quarter. The results reflect the aftermath of the March 8 disappearance of flight MH370 and the shootdown of flight MH17 on July 17.
For the first half of 2014, Malaysia is reporting a cumulative net loss of MYR748.1 million, widened from a net loss of MYR453.8 million in the first half of 2013. The airline had posted a net loss of MRY1.17 billion for the full-year 2013, a nearly threefold plummet from the previous year.
MH370, a Boeing 777-200 carrying 239 passengers and crew, disappeared March 8 during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, triggering an international search that is now focused on the southern Indian Ocean off the coast of Perth.
MH17 was destroyed by a sophisticated surface-to-air missile (SAM) while flying at 33,000 ft. over Ukraine on July 17. The Boeing 777-200ER was on a scheduled flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. All 298 people on board were killed.
“The weak financial performance has made Malaysia Airlines acutely aware of the need to restructure the company’s operations, even prior to the double tragedies of MH370 and MH17,” the company said in a statement. “The occurrence of the two incidences within a short span of four months served to worsen the situation further.”
Second-quarter revenue for the Kuala Lumpur-based carrier fell 5.1% to MRY3.59 billion as expenses rose 1.2% to MRY3.62 billion. The subsequent operating loss for the quarter came to MRY32.9 million, reversing the MYR227.8 million in operating profit the company reported in 2Q 2013.
“We expected the impact of MH370 on the performance in Q2 … our team put in much hard work and effort to regain market confidence and rebuild sales,” Malaysia Airlines Group CEP Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said. “Tragically, just as we were beginning to see signs of recovery in all regions, we were dealt the blow of MH17.”
Malaysia Airlines’ first-half revenue totaled MYR6.87 billion, down 1.8% year-over-year. Expenses grew 3.7% year-over-year to MYR7.32 billion, leading to an operating loss for the first-half of MYR134.1 million, down MYR392 million from the first-half of 2013.
During the second-quarter, Malaysia Airlines’ traffic growth was flat, falling 0.3% year-over-year to 11.55 billion RPKs as the airline boosted capacity 8.8% to 15.66 billion ASKs. Load factor for the quarter reached 73.7%, a 6.7 point drop from the year-ago quarter. Passenger yield fell 4% year-over-year to MRY21.7 sen per RPK. The airline carried 4.2 million passengers during the second-quarter, up 0.2% from the 2013 June quarter.
Malaysia’s half-year traffic statistics showed 16.3% year-over-year growth for the January-June period, as RPKs reached 23.66 billion. Capacity was up 13.6% to 31.52 billion ASKs, leading to a passenger load factor for the first-half of 75.1%, up 1.8 points year-over-year.
Noting the current business environment of stiff competition and high operational costs, Jauhari acknowledged the need to accelerate Malaysia Airlines’ restructuring.
“The impact of the two tragedies … [has] damaged our brand,” Jauhari said. “The full financial impact of the double tragedies of MH370 and MH17 is expected to hit Malaysia Airlines in the second half of the year. Our company has had to undergo a thorough re-examination and re-evaluation in order to reposition ourselves as a stronger and more sustainable [airline] for the future.”
The majority shareholder of Malaysia Airlines—Kazanah Nasional Berhad—announced Aug. 8 its intention take full ownership of Malaysia Airlines. Khazanah plans to delist the airline from Bursa Malaysia; if the motion is approved, a plan to restructure the airline group and return it to profitability will be put into place.