Tuesday 20 February 2018

Malaysia Airlines will rise again, says new Irish CEO

Peter Bellew
Peter Bellew
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Malaysia Airlines is on track for the "biggest turnaround" in aviation history, according to its new Irish chief executive, Peter Bellew.

In an exclusive interview with the Irish Independent, Mr Bellew has also said that it's time for the airline to put the two disasters of 2014 behind it. Malaysia Airlines lost two aircraft that year - one that mysteriously went missing over the South China Sea, and another that was shot down over Ukraine.

"I don't think you can ever forget," he said. "But I don't think we can dwell on it forever and we need to go forward from there."

Read More: Peter Bellew interview in full

Mr Bellew, a former Ryanair executive, has taken over as chief executive of Malaysia Airlines from former Aer Lingus boss Christoph Mueller, who finished up at the Asian carrier last week. Mr Bellew joined Malaysia Airlines last year as its chief operations officer.

The airline has been losing money for years, but has axed 6,000 of its 20,000 workforce as part of a plan to return it to profitability.

Mr Bellew will continue a $1.5bn turnaround plan hatched by him and Mr Mueller.

The restructuring of the carrier has been the focus of intense national interest in Malaysia.

"There's still lots to do," said Mr Bellew.

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