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New branding, major staff cuts at MAS due next week

The beleaguered Malaysia Airlines has made yet another major move.

Shortly after hiring ex-Aer Lingus executive Christoph Mueller, the airline is set for its next round of major changes. It is said to unveil new branding next week, with changes to its fleet as well as overall organisation, said a Reuters piece.

The Star said that the carrier “will terminate its entire workforce to start afresh as a smaller airline with a regional focus rather than international.”

“I’m hired to run the new company entirely on commercial terms and there’s very little margin for error,” Mueller told Reuters, saying he hoped to run the company like a start-up.

Mueller has been credited with turning around airlines such as Aer Lingus, Belgium’s Sabena, and Germany’s Lufthansa.

Amongst changes will be major job cuts of close to one third of its 20,000 work-force, expected to also come in the next week.

This comes as the airline is in the midst of a major branding pitch. This was called in April and involved at least 15 network agencies. There are three components to the pitch: visual identity, brand pitch and creative execution. Advertising + Marketing understands that the first round of shortlists is out. However, MAS has not responded to requests for comments.

Earlier, the airline was also taken off the stock market to become privately run, by Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund, Khazanah Nasional.

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