Malaysian airline sues its officials for negligence

Malaysian Airline System Bhd. on Wednesday sued its ex-chairman and two other former officials for alleged negligence that triggered large losses. The airline said it was seeking 174.6 million ringgit (US$45.9 million) in damages from former company chairman Tajudin Ramli, as well as Ralph Manfred Gotz, the ex-vice president of its cargo division, and Uwe Juergen Beck, a former consultant.

The alleged losses are connected to the company's cargo operations in Hahn Airport, Germany, between March 1999 and July 2001, the airline said in a suit filed at Malaysia's High Court.

Separately, the flagship carrier said it has put off plans to fly to five new destinations in China and India amid efforts to consolidate its network, according to the AP.

Flight frequencies will instead be increased starting Oct. 30 between Kuala Lumpur and locations including New Delhi and Xiamen, China, the company said in a statement. Bigger planes will be used for flights to Perth, Australia, and Auckland, New Zealand.

"Services to new destinations such as Amritsar, Cochin, Fuzhou, Guilin and Shenzen will be deferred indefinitely as part of the national airline's efforts to contain its cost growth and improve performance," the statement said.

The measures come as the airline struggles to return to profit after a loss of 280.7 million ringgit (US$73.9 million; Ђ61.5 million) in the April-June quarter, mainly due to high fuel costs.

"Malaysian Airline continues to monitor and evaluate its operations, and will further realign and consolidate its services to complement traffic demand," the airline's statement said.

Company officials could not immediately say if the airline plans to cut unprofitable routes.


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