Loss-making state carrier Malaysia Airlines could be sold off or even shut down, according to the country’s Prime Pinister Mahathir Mohamad.

A Reuters report quotes Mahathir as saying that the government is “studying and investigating as to whether we should shut it down or we should sell it off or we should refinance it”, adding that all options remained open.

Mahathir said that a decision would be made “soon”, stressing that “It is a very serious matter to shut down the airline”.

The Malaysian flag carrier has been loss-making for some years now, not helped by the disappearance of flight MH370 enroute from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in 2014, and the shooting down of flight MH17 over Ukraine the same year.

The airline has been through several turnaround plans over the last decade, including a rebranding in 2015, and has seen management changes including the surprise departure of CEO Peter Bellew in 2017.

The carrier rebranded its first-class cabins as Business Suites in December in an attempt to make them more attractive to corporate customers.