MALAYSIA Airlines is to axe 6,000 jobs, around a third of the workforce, as it struggles to overcome the twin disasters that have hit it this year.

The announcement comes after the disappearance of flight MH370 over the southern Indian Ocean in March and the shooting down of flight MH17 over Ukraine last month.

The MH370 incident, on March 8, involved a Boeing 777 plane en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people aboard. Despite intensive searches, no trace of the aircraft has been found and a fresh hunt has now been instigated.

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The Ukraine incident on July 17 again involved a Boeing 777. with 298 people on board including 10 Britons. It is believed it was brought down by a missile.

"The London-Kuala Lumpur route is highly successful and will carry on,'' said a spokesman.