After years of previous financial struggle plus two deadly jet disasters in 2014, Malaysia Airlines fell into a pretty large unprofitable hole.
There are plans, however, to get the company back on its feet and according to the Associated Press, Malaysia’s government chose a new leader for the project – Christoph Mueller.
Mueller is the current CEO of Ireland’s Aer Lingus and will be the first non-Malaysian to ever head the airline. He’ll be in charge of a new company that will be launched in July of 2015 to take over Malaysia Airlines.
In an article by USA Today, Malaysia’s prime minister Najib Razak said, “It is imperative that we have the best available talent with the expertise and experience to help drive the progress of the restructuring effort further forward.”
Mueller has been Aer Lingus’s CEO for five years and helped the airline out of millions of dollars in losses and a rough competition with Ryanair, a low-cost Irish carrier. Mueller was formerly head of TUI Travel, a British leisure travel group, and Sabena, the former national airline of Belgium. Although his contract with Aer Lingus isn’t up until May 1st, Mueller may begin working with Malaysia Airlines in March.
Currently, Malaysia Airlines is in a $1.7 billion overhaul that will delist the airline from the stock exchange and cut its workforce by about 30% by the end of the year. Khazanah Nasional, the airline’s parent company, plans to restore it to profitability by the end of 2017, then relist it by the end of 2019.