The Malaysian government is evaluating various options regarding the future of the flag carrier Malaysia Airlines (MH, Kuala Lumpur Int'l), including the potential shut-down of the loss-making airline, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad told the media.

"It is a very serious matter to shut down the airline. We will nevertheless be studying and investigating as to whether we should shut it down or we should sell it off or we should refinance it. All these things are open for the government to decide," Mahathir said, as relayed by Reuters.

The decision on the future of the airline will be taken "soon", the PM added.

Malaysia Airlines has been privately owned by the country's sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Berhad since 2014. The fund took full ownership of the airline in the wake of a crisis caused by the loss of two B777-200(ER)s, where one unit disappeared over the Indian Ocean and one was shot down over Eastern Ukraine.

The carrier lost MYR812 million ringgits (USD198.5 million) in 2017. The results for 2018 are not yet available, although in December the airline said it expected the loss to be lower than the year before.

Meanwhile, Blue Swan Daily has reported that the carrier will add four new destinations in Indonesia by mid-2019, namely Majalengka, Padang, Pekanbaru, and Solo City, mostly targeting pilgrimage traffic connecting onwards onto flights to Madinah and Jeddah via Kuala Lumpur Int'l. The airline will be the only foreign full-service carrier to serve each of the cities. For Majalengka, a new airport in western Java opened in 2018, Kuala Lumpur will also become the maiden international destination.