(File Photo - AFP)

Malaysia Airlines is “technically bankrupt”, its chief executive has said, as he announced a restructuring programme and plans to cut about 6,000 jobs.

The announcement follows the twin air disasters which forced its nationalisation last year.

The airline said it had “offered jobs” to 14,000 of its 20,000 workforce.

The move was expected and follows the appointment of new chief executive Christoph Mueller in May.

“We are technically bankrupt,” Mr Mueller told a news conference. “The decline of performance started long before the tragic events of 2014.”

The airline is operating as normal and no flights are currently affected.

In March last year, Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared with 239 passengers and crew aboard. The plane is still missing.

Four months later, flight MH17 was shot down by a suspected ground-to-air missile while in Ukrainian airspace, with the loss of 298 passengers and crew.

The two disasters proved to be the final straw for the already struggling business, which had reported losses for several years as a result of strong regional competition. (BBC)