Malaysia Airlines (MH, Kuala Lumpur Int'l) has begun offering its B777 type-rated crews alternative employment opportunities within the Group among other options as indications that the carrier is indeed planning to end B777-200(ER) operations at the end of the quarter grow stronger.

With the B777's last longhaul flights - to Amsterdam Schiphol and Paris CDG - set for January 27, so further research of schedule shows the widebody twinjet's last tentative commercial flight for the airline will be on March 26 between Guangzhou and Kuala Lumpur Int'l.

The state-owned carrier is in the midst of a massive restructuring drive which will see its network reoriented toward domestic and regional operations using a fleet dominated by B737-800s.

"Malaysia Airlines' network rationalisation exercise, which saw a reduction in capacity and suspension of flights to selected destinations, will have an impact on pilot requirements.

The pilots will have a choice of career options which include voluntary secondment to other airlines in Asia or the Middle East, voluntary no-pay, long term leave to pursue other careers, or to remain at Malaysia Airlines and await possible long-term vacancies on other aircraft types.

The opportunities for secondment to another airline are entirely voluntary for the individual pilot and no 777 pilot has been requested to leave the airline," the airline said in a press statement.

The carrier currently operates seven B777-200(ER)s whose average age is 14.6 years.