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Fate of MH370, MH17 Trigger Mass Resignation of Crew in Malaysia Airlines

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By Reissa Su | August 27, 2014 5:13 PM EST

The mysterious disappearance of Flight MH370 and the downing of Flight MH17 have prompted almost 200 cabin crew of Malaysia Airlines to resign. Airline staff and crew who resigned were reportedly concerned about their safety.

REUTERS/Samsul Said
A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-800 aircraft parks on tarmac of Kuala Lumpur International Airport outside Kuala Lumpur June 14, 2014. REUTERS/Samsul Said (MALAYSIA - Tags: DISASTER TRANSPORT)

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Reports said the deadly tragedies that left hundreds of passengers and crew dead have sparked a mass resignation. Before this year, Malaysia Airlines had a good safety record. After the disappearance of MH370 on March 8 and the crash of MH17 in Ukraine on July 17, the airline company has been constantly under scrutiny.

The airline reported that 186 of its crew had resigned during the last seven months. Malaysia Airlines cited "family pressure" as the reason for the crew's desire to stop working for the company. In a statement, the airline said there was a notable spike in resignations. However, the number has now returned to acceptable levels.

Employee union secretary Abdul Malek Ariff said some crew members were now "afraid to fly." Staff shortages had also forced some employees to work as much as 12 hours a day. Reports said the union represents an estimated 8,000 Malaysia Airlines workforce.

The disappearance of MH370 while flying to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur in March has been a shock to the family members of passengers and crew. No sign of the plane's wreckage has been found of the aircraft believed to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.

Malaysia Airlines was widely criticised for the way it handled the crisis. The downing of the MH17 in Ukraine had left travellers worried about aviation safety.

The Malaysian airline company is in the middle of negotiations for its privatisation as part of its plans of a major overhaul. The company has been contemplating on changing its name to remove some of the stigma associated with the airline.

Malaysia Airlines has struggled with profitability in the last three years, reports said. The company revealed it has lost US$1.3 billion even before the two air disasters. 

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(Photo: REUTERS/Samsul Said / )
A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-800 aircraft parks on tarmac of Kuala Lumpur International Airport outside Kuala Lumpur June 14, 2014. REUTERS/Samsul Said (MALAYSIA - Tags: DISASTER TRANSPORT)
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