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Terminal Velocity

Hoping To Rebound, Malaysia Airlines Weighs Name Change

With the support of the Malaysian government, the airliner is seeking new investors and considering a major rebranding.

[Image: Flickr user Alan Wilson]

Business as usual isn't an option for Malaysia Airlines. In a span of months, the commercial airliner lost two planes—MH370 mysteriously disappeared while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, and MH17 was shot down over Ukraine while traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur—unnerving travelers who are responding by canceling their flights.

Hoping to rebound, the company is exploring its options, which include bankruptcy as well as a brand overhaul. Malaysia Airlines, which is majority owned by the Malaysian government, is reportedly seeking new investors and is likely to change its name, according to the Telegraph.

"There are several options on the table but all involve creating an airline fit for purpose in what is a new era for us, and other airlines," Malaysia Airlines's commercial director Hugh Dunleavy wrote in a Sunday Telegraph editorial.

Dunleavy said the Malaysian government had already begun the process of exploring new paths for the airliner, but the downing of MH17 accelerated matters.

"As a company, Malaysia Airlines has twice been in a period of mourning this year, but we will eventually overcome this tragedy and emerge stronger," he said. "With the unwavering support we have received from the Malaysian government, we are confident of our recovery, whatever the shape of the airline in future. But it is our sincere wish to continue operating our service in skies our passengers and crew feel safe in."