25 APRIL 2016
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The future direction of Malaysia Airlines was cast into doubt last week after chief executive Christoph Mueller resigned “for personal reasons”. He will leave in September.
Mueller, the former chief executive of Aer Lingus, joined Malaysia last May on a three-year contract, becoming the first non-Malaysian to run the airline.
Senior management also includes two other westerners, chief operations officer Peter Bellew, formerly director of flight operations at Ryanair, and chief commercial officer Paul Simmons, who joined from a similar position at flybe.
Mueller, widely credited with reviving Aer Lingus during his six-year tenure, joined Malaysia with a brief to turn the airline round after the tragedies of MH370 and MH17.
He cut jobs and salaries and repositioned the airline to concentrate on Asia rather than linking European cities to Australia.
Malaysia announced its first monthly profit for years this February, and was reported to be on track to return to annual profits by 2018.
Mueller said last week: “The airline has been restructured and repositioned to regain its leading position in customers’ experience and to continue to connect Malaysia with the world.
“I am confident the company is now on the right track to succeed in its next phase of growth under a new chief executive.” www.malaysiaairlines.com
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