Malaysia Airlines has axed 15 loss-making routes, mostly to China and India, as it streamlines operations to survive high fuel prices, the official news agency Bernama said Tuesday.
Transport Minister Ong Tee Keat said the carrier would cease operations between the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur and Manchester, Vienna, Zurich, Fukuoka, Nagoya, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Pontianak, Xian, Chengdu and Cairo.
Flights to Perth and Sydney from the Borneo island city of Kuching, and the Langkawi-London and Penang-London routes will also be closed in stages, Ong told parliament, according to Bernama.
Ong said the issue of whether the national carrier would let budget carrier AirAsia take over the routes would be discussed. AirAsia took on domestic routes abandoned by Malaysia Airlines in an earlier round of cost-cuts.
The carrier hiked fuel charges by 25-80 percent on most routes last month, and said the aviation industry's future was "really bleak" unless drastic measures were taken.
Malaysia Airlines has slashed staff and routes in a so-far-successful effort to reinvent itself and arrest a series of losses that threatened its viability.
Agence France-Presse - 7/8/2008 10:32 AM GMT