General Industry

Mueller To Move To Malaysia Airlines

By Publications Checkout
Mueller To Move To Malaysia Airlines

Aer Lingus's departing CEO Christoph Mueller is to undertake what might be the most difficult job in aviation – rebuilding the shattered reputation of Malaysia Airlines, of which the two jets that cost 537 lives this year were.

The task is a stop-the-rot one: he will attempt to reverse the gaping losses and enormous slump in traffic.

"It’s got to be one of the biggest challenges in the airline business today," said John Strickland, an aviation expert at JLS Consulting Ltd. "It’s a job that needs a tough nerve, patience and a few deep breaths to take it forward. They’ve got to get back to a point of credibility and respect."

Malaysia’s government, which was on the receiving end of almost universal criticism in the wake of the MH370 disappearance, has unveiled a 6 billion-ringgit ($1.7 billion) restructuring package directed towards restoring profitability in three years.

Mueller, who turned Aer Lingus around as it was grappling with budget airline Ryanair, faces a comparable task as Malaysia Air struggles to fend off AirAsia, the region’s biggest low-fare flight provider.