Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAS) has announced plans to sell its fleet of six B777-200ERs following the company's decision to cancel its Amsterdam and Paris routes as of January 27, reports said.
However, the carrier denied a report that its pilots will be forced to leave the national airline, after Malay-language tabloid Kosmo published an article saying 250 of its Boeing 777-ER pilots
will lose their jobs this year.
MAS ended the loss-making flights to the two destinations after inking a partnership deal with Dubai-based Emirates on December 2, 2015, which covers more than 90 destinations in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and Africa, served via Dubai.
The deal gives the MAS access to Europe without incurring "monumental losses," chief executive officer Christoph Mueller told Bloomberg.
Doubtful options for cockpit crews
The airline confirmed that its rationalisation exercise would have an impact on its pilots, but said they have been offered options, which did not include sacking.
"The pilots will have a choice of career options, including voluntary secondment to other airlines in Asia or the Middle East, voluntary no-pay long-term leave to pursue other careers or to remain at Malaysia Airlines and await possible long-term vacancies on other aircraft types.
"The opportunities for secondment to another airline are entirely voluntary for the individual pilot and no 777 pilot has been requested to leave the airline," the national carrier said in a statement.
Nol van Fenema