MYAirline (MYM, Kuala Lumpur Subang) has suspended operations effective October 12, citing financial issues and the need to restructure and recapitalise.

"The airline has come to this extremely painful decision because of significant financial pressures that have made it necessary to suspend operations pending the shareholder restructuring and recapitalisation of the airline," a statement issued by the low-cost carrier reads. "We have worked tirelessly to explore various partnership and capital-raising options to prevent this suspension. Unfortunately, the constraints of time have left us with no alternative but to take this decision."

Last week, the Malaysian airline announced that CEO Rayner Teo was stepping down due to health reasons, with current Chief Operating Officer Stuart Cross stepping in as interim CEO. The low-cost carrier launched in early December 2022, with scheduled services between Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, and Langkawi using leased A320-200s. It has since expanded its operations in Thailand and Bangkok, and built up its fleet to nine aircraft.

Speaking to ch-aviation in May, Teo said he wanted to increase the fleet to 26 aircraft by the end of 2023 and had already signed leases for 17 of those planes. "Everything has been running pretty smoothly," he said. "Every month, we are seeing traction in terms of getting a better (ticket) price. We have been seeing very good numbers. Everything starts with a 'nine' in front of it, which we are very pleased about."

Malaysian media are reporting that talks had occurred with a potential investor, naming him as Abang Abdillah Izzarim Abang Abdul Rahman Zohari, the son of the Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg. Zohari was reportedly talking to MYAirline about taking a 65% stake in the carrier. The Premier has been leading a push to set up an airline in the state's capital, Kuching, and has been negotiating with the Malaysia Aviation Group to takeover MASwings (MY, Kota Kinabalu). The Sarawak state government has denied the reports regarding any interest in MYAirline.

In the wake of the MYAirline announcement, Malaysia's Transport Minister Anthony Loke says the airline needs to explain to the Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) what the problems are before the agency can offer any assistance. "We will look at their problems to see where we can help in terms of facilities, licensing and regulatory support," the minister said. "We will try to facilitate and give them some space, but they need to meet us to explain their problems."

Editorial Comment: Updated to include reported details of Sarawak state government interest in MYAirline. - 12.10.2023 - 02:21 UTC