Wreckage from flight MH17
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Uncertain time for Malaysia Airlines

The future of Malaysia Airlines depends on what its biggest shareholder, the government, wants to do says an industry analyst.

The deadline has passed for Malaysia Airlines' customers to cancel their tickets without penalty and get a full refund if they have decided not to fly.

The airline is not saying how many tickets have been cancelled, but it is likely some customers have taken up the offer after the tragic loss of flights MH370 and MH17.

Malaysia Airlines was struggling even before those disasters and some are wondering whether it can survive.

Ron Bartsch, Chairman of AvLaw International - an aviation safety consultancy firm - says its future depends on the Malaysian government.

Hugh Dunleavy, commercial director of Malaysia Airlines, is confident the airline will receive the support it needs.

"Our majority shareholder, the Malaysian Government, has already started a process of assessing the future shape of our business and that process will now be speeded up as a result of MH17," says Mr Dunleavy.

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