Friends and relatives of Jenny Loh and Popo Fan, owners of a popular restaurant, Asian Glories, who were victims of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 plane crash, hug each other in front of the restaurant during a silent march to pay their respects in Rotterdam July 21, 2014. World leaders demanded an international investigation into the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 with 298 people on board over eastern Ukraine in a tragedy that could mark a pivotal moment in the worst crisis between Russia and the West since the Cold War. REUTERS/Marco de Swart (NETHERLANDS - Tags: TRANSPORT DISASTER)
Almost $1.5 million would be deducted from Malaysian Airlines shaky finances as the embattled air carrier announced on Monday that it would grant $5,000 assistance to each of the families of the 298 victims of MH 17.
The amount, according to a Malaysian Airlines statement, is a financial assistance "to ease the immediate families of the passengers with their economic needs." It would not be considered a part of the final compensation or affect the legal rights to claim of the victims' families.
The company said funds have been made available to pay the $5,000 assistance.
With the air tragedies that had hit the embattled air carrier within four months which worsened further the deteriorating financial health of Malaysian Airlines, industry observer are asking if the government-owned airline would be able to survive this time.
Prior to the two air mishaps, the company had been running on deficit for three years and incurred losses of $1.3 billion.
CNN Money reported on Monday that Khazanah Nasional, the sovereign wealth fund of Malaysia that holds a 70 per cent stake in Malaysian Airlines is starting to study its options to restructure the company. The restructure plan would be made public within the next 6 to 12 months.
With the company mandated by international law to make initial payments of $150,000 for each families of both flights, that would burn an $80.55 million hole and could lead to Malaysian Airlines filing for bankruptcy, according to Daniel Tsang, an aviation analyst at Aspire Aviation.