Malaysia Airlines Restructuring
Troubled Malaysia Airlines to be rebranded next week. Reuters file photo

After a couple of accidents in 2014, Malaysia Airline System (MAS) has almost finished its painful restructuring that involves axing of about one-third of its total staff.

The restructuring is estimated to affect 6,000 of the total 20,000 staff. The company is expected to announce the job cuts soon. Some media reports said the restructuring would cost up to 8,000 jobs, but in stages over a year.

"The 6,000 will be terminated at the same time, but some will be released in phases to manage the transition. Some will be offered short-term contracts in MAS Bhd,'' a source told the Straits Times.

As per the plan, MAS will be rebranded and restructured into a new company, which CEO Christoph Mueller says will be like a "start-up". The company will terminate its entire workforce to start afresh with a regional focus, but most of the staff will be re-employed.

The employees will receive two letters at the same time: one informing them of their termination, and the other offering either a new contract or an invitation to the retraining programme for axed staff.

The new company, MAS Bhd, will begin operations on 1 September.

The company earlier hired Mueller from Irish national carrier Aer Lingus to oversee the transition.

The airline, which has seen successive years of losses, took a huge hit to its brand in 2014.

In July 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 aboard.

In March 2014, flight MH370, carrying 239 passengers and crew, deviated from its course and disappeared in what has become one of the greatest mysteries in aviation history.

Following the disasters, the airline was delisted on the stock market and taken private by Khazanah Nasional, Malaysia's sovereign wealth fund. Khazanah also announced a $1.8bn (£1.2bn, €1.6bn) restructuring plan for the ailing firm.