Malaysia Airlines has closed its airport lounges at Perth and Singapore as the airline continues efforts to slash costs and 'right-size' its operations.
Business class passengers and Enrich Platinum and Gold frequent flyers travelling from Perth Airport are being directed to the business lounge of Oneworld partner Qantas.
The Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge at Singapore's Changi Airport has also been shuttered, with travellers steered to the Premier Lounge – although MAS notes that "guests who have valid Enrich Golden Lounge Access redemption voucher to access the Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge are not entitled to use this Premier Lounge as is this a 3rd party lounge."
The move mirrors MAS' decision to close Sydney lounge in 2014 in favour of the airport's superior Qantas lounges.
Malaysia Airlines CEO Christoph Mueller told Australian Business Traveller earlier this year that some of the airline's own lounges would "be closed and replaced... in order to provide a better service to the customer, because our smaller lounges will never be able to compete with a larger lounge equipped with showers and so forth."
Upgrades for KL and London lounges
However, those lounges which remain in business – including its flagship lounges at Kuala Lumpur – will receive a much-needed upgrade to woo premium travellers.
"They will all be improved, because they are a little bit tired" Mueller said.
"There is very little consistency in terms of what we offer when it comes to food, to workspace and other facilities. This is the plan for our main three lounges in KLIA, and also London Heathrow and Melbourne."
Last month saw Malaysia Airlines axe all flights to Brisbane and reduce flights to Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, while two of MAS' six Airbus A380s have also been offered for sale or lease as "surplus to requirements."
Malaysia Airlines has racked up debts approaching $1.5 billion since 2011, with a dire situation worsened by last year's twin tragedies of the disappearance of flight MH370 and the shooting down of MH17.
The airline was nationalised in late 2014 by Malaysia's government-owned investment arm Khazanah Nasional, which has pledged a A$2 billion injection to fund the dramatic restructure aimed at returning the airline to profitability by 2017.
The company behind the airline has today changed its name from Malaysia Airline Systems Berhad to Malaysia Airlines Berhad.
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About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.