Malaysia Airlines Received Bids from Airlines but Two of Them Deny

Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, Japan Airlines

Malaysia Airlines Trims Again Its Network

An information from Malaysia business weekly The Edge and relayed by news agency Reuters said that three airlines are interested to bid for a strategic share in Malaysia Airlines. These include China Southern, Japan Airlines and Qatar Airways. Both latter denied the information.

Who will invest into Malaysia struggling national carrier Malaysia Airlines? A report citing internal sources in the Edge weekly newspaper last Saturday unveiled that Malaysian sovereign fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd. -the sole shareholder of the flag carrier- had shortlisted four potential investors, including three airlines: Japan Airlines, Qatar Airways and China Southern Airlines.

However, on the same day, a spokesman for Qatar Airways told Reuters in a brief text message that the airline was not among the bidders shortlisted. Then on Monday, Japan Airlines stepped into the media battle, announcing that it was not planning to take a stake in Malaysia Airlines Bhd. The Japanese company is waiting for approval to begin a tie-up with Malaysia Airlines rather than taking a stake in the carrier, a Japan Airlines spokesman said.

Malaysia will decide on the flag carrier’s strategic partner or investor by year-end or early 2020 at the latest, Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali said in parliament last week. Selling the carrier and turn it again profitable has been a hard -and impossible- tsk for Kazanah, following two accidents in a row back to 2014.

There are also sensitivity questions in Malaysia among the population regarding the sale of the national airline to foreigners. The outcry to sell a national asset prompted also the former Chairman of AirAsia Bhd Dato Pahamin to make a bid to take over the carrier. The former chairman promised not to cut jobs in the restructuring process and no re-branding. It appeared that the Pahamin bid did not convince the Malaysian sovereign fund. Khazanah Nasional has hired Morgan Stanley to look at strategic options for Malaysia Airlines.