Few companies have experienced the level of misfortune that Malaysia Airlines has seen this year. First, flight MH370 mysteriously disappeared
on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Most recently, MH17 was shot down over Ukraine
, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
According to Bloomberg News
, flight cancellations have reached levels up to 20 percent. Malaysia Airlines, in which the Malaysian government owns a majority stake, wasn’t exactly doing well before the dual tragedies. The company had $1.3 billion in losses over the past three years, and analysts say this year will be just as financially devastating.
So, where does a company in such peril go from here?
Options range from bankruptcy to a name change and a radical brand overhaul.
With financial woes and negative name recognition putting the company in dire straits, it’s probably time for such drastic measures. It seems the airline recognizes this as well.
Malaysia Airlines commercial director Hugh Dunleavy took to the Telegraph
for an editorial last weekend.
As a company, Malaysia Airlines has twice been in a period of mourning this year, but we will eventually overcome this tragedy and emerge stronger.
Our majority shareholder, the Malaysian government, has already started a process of assessing the future shape of our business and that process will now be speeded up as a result of MH17.
There are several options on the table but all involve creating an airline fit for purpose in what is a new era for us, and other airlines.
What do you think the company’s next step should be? Is a brand overhaul going to do the trick?