Just how grim are things for Malaysia Airlines? After MH370 mysteriously disappeared in March and MH17 was shot down over Ukraine a few months later, flyers have been hesitant to book with the Asia-based air carrier.
Further complicating matters was that, before the unprecedented string of tragedies, the airline was reported to already be in the red for three years in a row.
Now we have some figures to back up all those empty seats. Howard University professor Oliver McGee points out in a post on LinkedIn that Malaysia Airlines is estimated to be burning through its cash reserves at “nearly $2.16 million each day.” Operations alone are costing the airline $1.6 million each day.
In efforts to win back customers, the airline doubled the commission rate it offered to travel agents in Australia from 6% to 11%. But it may be too little too late: When last we heard from the airline, it was mulling a name change, but some analysts have pointed out it will take a complete restructuring and financial support from the Malaysian government if the airline is to survive.
“There’s no historical precedent,” said Mohshin Aziz, an industry analyst at Maybank. “It’s completely not their fault, but right now if you ask any customers would they fly with Malaysia Airlines, they’d just have that negative sentiment of ‘I’d rather choose something else.'”