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Published on : Sep 11, 2014

After reports that Malaysia Airlines will be letting go nearly 6,000 of its staff, chief executive officer of low-cost carrier AirAsia Tan Sri Tony Fernandes has said that he is open to hiring MAS ex-employees as part of its own workforce. 

Fernandes said that he welcomes the MAS overhaul and the transition will be a good move for the AirAsia group as well as Malaysia Airlines. The originally 200-member airline has grown to 15,000 many of which have come from MAS. Some of AirAsia’s employees have also moved to MAS, which Fernandes termed as “healthy” for both groups, saying that there are some employees who want to work with low-cost airlines and some with premium ones. 

Looking to recover from the double tragedy, MAS will be cutting 6,000 of its 20,000 jobs. In March this year, MAS flight MH370 carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members went missing, the whereabouts of which still remains a mystery. And later in July, MH17 was shot down in Ukraine, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew on board. Khazanah Nasional, a state-investment company that owns 69% of MAS has said that it will be investing RM6 billion to turn around the fortunes of the ailing flag carrier. 

Fernandes said that MAS has always posed a strong competition to AirAsia which has forced the latter to cut back its fleet. If both the airlines grow with this move, there will be more job opportunities in the future. 

Fernandes took over as CEO of AirAsia over a decade ago.