The scale of the backlash against Malaysian Airlines over the disappearance of flight MH370 has been laid bare by the carrier.
The company reported its biggest quarterly loss in over two years of 82.3m ($138m) on Thursday.
It said in its statement: “The tragic MH370 incident had a dramatic impact on the traditionally weak first quarter performance.”
The flight had 239 people aboard – the majority of them Chinese – when it disappeared from radar screens on March 8.
It is believed to have crashed into the Indian Ocean off Australia’s west coast but there has been no confirmed sighting of either the aircraft or debris, despite a frantic international search.
The company’s response to the mystery resulted in scathing criticism from relatives of those missing and now presumed dead.
It said it sufferedhigh numbers of cancellations and a decline inlong-haul travel, with sales in China slumping 60% in March alone.
Even before MH370 went missing, the airline had lost a combined 770m($1.3bn) over the past three years, partly due to intense competition.
The company had previously announced a “thorough review” of its business plan as it sought to shore up its finances.
This may include the partial sale of its engineering unit and an upgrade of its ageing fleet, Reuters reported last week.
15 May 2014 | 2:16 pm – Source: orange.co.uk