The Malaysian Government has been approached by investors interested in acquiring struggling flag carrier Malaysia Airlines (MH, Kuala Lumpur Int'l), Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has said.

"There are certain parties who are interested to buy, so we don't reject [the possibility of selling]. I love MAS. I want MAS to be a national airline, but it looks like we cannot afford it," Reuters quoted Mahathir as saying.

The PM said earlier in March that the government was evaluating options for the carrier, including selling it to an investor, refinancing it, or even shutting it down.

Malaysia Airlines has been fully owned by Malaysia's sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional since 2014, after the loss of two B777-200(ER)s had dragged the already struggling carrier into a deeper crisis.

Mahathir did not disclose the names of the potential investors, saying only that they were both local and foreign.

Malaysia Airlines continues to post losses after missing the target to return to profitability in 2018. Khazanah Nasional's managing director Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said that the fund will inject MYR6 billion ringgits (USD1.5 billion) into the carrier in 2019, with a part of this amount already disbursed and another part due to follow later this year, The Sun Daily has reported.

Khazanah Nasional has been pushing the airline and the government to decide on the future strategy and a new business plan. Shahril underlined, however, that the fund takes into account the value the airline brings to the Malaysian economy indirectly and looks at more factors than just the financial result of the company itself.