Is Malaysia Airlines Doomed? Losing Staff and Cutting Routes After a Tragic Few Months

Malaysian Airlines is still struggling to recover from double tragedies. (Photo: Getty Images)

In the span of just four months this year, two Malaysian Airlines flights fell out of the sky. Though nothing could compare to those unfathomable tragedies, there is more bad news for the airline – cabin crew are fleeing leaving flights understaffed, and there could be as many as 4,000 jobs cut across the rest of the company.

According to a statement from Malaysian Airlines, there has been a “spike” in crew resignations after the recent disasters.

“Cabin crew members are traumatized over the consecutive tragedies,” said Malaysian Airlines System Employees Union secretary general Abdul Malek Ariff. “Many are afraid to fly now.”

A distraught relative of a Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 passenger. (Photo: Getty Images)

It’s understandable: On March 8, Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing lost all contact with air traffic control, presumably having crashed. There were no known survivors. Just months later on July 17, Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down over the Ukraine, killing everyone aboard.

“This is a very difficult time. I mean, losing one aircraft is bad enough, but losing two over such a short period was simply too much to handle,” said Ariff. Many of those who left their positions cited “family pressure” as the reason according the Malaysian Airlines statement.

At this point, the exodus has leveled off, says the company, but the airline is having trouble replacing the crew members due to few applicants.

Ironically, though the airline cannot seem to fill its cabin crew positions, there may soon be mass layoffs elsewhere in the company. In an effort to boost it’s tarnished image and the bottom line, the airline’s parent company, Khazanah Nasional Bhd., is reportedly considering cutting routes and may need to lay off as many as 3000 to 4000 of it’s approximately 19,000 employees.