Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 07:12pm

A ground crew member works on a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-800 airplane on the runway at KLIA in Sepang July 25, 2014. MAS is reportedly offering bargain deals to attract Australian and New Zealand customers after photographs of its empty flights went viral. — Reuters picA ground crew member works on a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-800 airplane on the runway at KLIA in Sepang July 25, 2014. MAS is reportedly offering bargain deals to attract Australian and New Zealand customers after photographs of its empty flights went viral. — Reuters picKUALA LUMPUR, Aug 29 — Malaysia Airlines (MAS) resorted to flight giveaways and bargain deals to attract Australian and New Zealand customers after photographs of empty flights went viral.

The beleaguered national carrier, which suffered two fatal plane crashes this year, was giving away a dozen return flights to Kuala Lumpur for its “My Ultimate Bucket List” competition, Australian news site news.com.au reported yesterday.

“With unbelievable savings, these deals are a very competitive offering as we build a stronger Malaysia Airlines,” MAS regional senior vice president Lee Poh Kait was quoted as saying.

The “My Ultimate Bucket List” competition reportedly starts on Monday and is open for online bookings until year-end.

MAS was reported by news.com.au as saying that passenger numbers dipped 11 per cent in July from last year.

The Malaysian airline reportedly launched a sale with “astounding new online offers” for passengers from Australia and New Zealand starting from AU$495 (RM1,461.50) for a return economy class airfare ticket to Kuala Lumpur.

News.com.au reported that MAS’ sale came after budget carrier AirAsia launched its own sale, offering Kuala Lumpur-bound flights from Australia at AU$159 (RM469.45).

Khazanah Nasional Bhd, which controls MAS, is scheduled to announce later today its restructuring plan for the loss-making airline.