KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 8 — The government is not looking to inject cash or provide support to Malaysia Airlines Berhad, Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Aziz said today, as the ailing national carrier continues to be in the red despite several major turnover bids.
Tengku Zafrul told business radio station BFM that MAB’s fate is solely in the hands of its owners, Khazanah Nasional Berhad, which in April said it would continue to aid MAB and the Aviation Group (MAG) amid the worst crisis in aviation history, wrought by the coronavirus pandemic.
“We have consistently said that this is a matter that Khazanah must resolve... the Ministry of Finance will not inject capital or cash into MAB,” the minister stressed.
The Covid-19 outbreak has forced planes in the thousands to be grounded, prompting millions of travellers to cancel their bookings across the globe.
Passenger revenue losses since the pandemic broke out stood at US$250 billion (RM1.09 trillion).
For the struggling MAB, the deadly pathogen further deepened its woes as thousands of flights had to be cancelled after the country shut its borders to foreigners and most governments ban traveling.
Khazanah had said in April that MAG, the parent company of MAB, badly needs capital although it could not determine how much.
MAG group CFO Boo Hui Yee warned in March that the company was no different than other airlines which are at risk of going bankrupt, The Malaysian Reserve reported.
MAG has offered its 13,000-strong staff two voluntary options, either five days of unpaid leave per month for at least three months or unpaid leave of between one and three months beginning April.
The company’s top management also took a pay cut to manage its cash flow.
Tengku Zafrul was asked if his ministry would consider other options like guaranteeing debt for the carrier, which the minister firmly rejected.
“No guarantee... we are not looking at any support,” he said.
“That is up to Khazanah.”