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Malaysia Airlines posts higher Q1 loss, China sales slump due to missing plane

Malaysia Airlines says its net loss rose 59 percent in the first quarter, hit by loss of revenue from China after the baffling disappearance of Flight 370 two months ago.

The flag carrier says net loss surged to 443.4 million ringgit ($137.8 million) in the January-to-March period. Revenue still rose 1.7 percent to 3.6 billion ringgit ($1.1 billion).

It says Flight 370, which went missing March 8 with 239 people on board while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, placed additional financial stress on the company, which is already struggling with high fuel prices and operational costs.

It said Thursday that sales from China fell 60 percent in March, with a high numbers of cancellations and a decline in long-haul travel. Many passengers on Flight 370 were Chinese.