Malaysia Airlines’ restructuring is expected to be completed by December 31, the country’s deputy finance minister, Abdul Rahim Bakri, divulged during a Ministers’ Question Time session at the parliament earlier this week, The Star newspaper reported.

The government has held several discussions on the debts and leasing costs the flag carrier faces, he explained, saying: “I can see some progress, and the matter is expected to be finalised by the end of the month.”

He said that around 75% of Malaysia Airlines’ aircraft are currently grounded due to ongoing travel restrictions. According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, 39 of Malaysia Airlines’ 99 aircraft are now active. But the financial position of Malaysia Aviation Group has been in distress since 2015.

That year, the group suffered a loss of MYR1.15 billion ringgit (USD285 million); MYR700 million (USD173 million) in 2016; MYR1.2 billion (USD297 million) in 2017; and MYR1.3 billion (USD322 million) in 2018, the deputy minister recounted.

As at August 31, 2020, Malaysia Aviation Group’s total liquidity stood at about MYR366 million (USD91 million), besides around MYR578 million (USD143 million) of funding that its sovereign wealth fund parent Khazanah Nasional had made available for use.

“The government will hold further talks with Khazanah to ascertain the direction of the company, especially in strengthening its financial position and identifying the best strategic solutions,” the deputy minister said.

In another parliamentary session, Minister of Finance Zafrul Aziz commented that the decision on whether to terminate the group’s operations had not yet been made and depended on the outcome of talks with creditors and lessors, the Malaysian National News Agency reported. Khazanah will do its best, he stressed, to ensure the group’s employees' welfare is safeguarded.

To date, Khazanah has injected about MYR28 billion (USD6.9 billion) into the company, while the current total liabilities to be restructured are estimated to be MYR16 billion (USD4 billion), he said.