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Malaysia Airlines to Modernize Fleet in 2024

The new arrivals are expected to support the post-pandemic growth of the country's aviation industry.

Malaysia Airlines aircraft (Photo: Shutterstock)

Malaysia Airlines will modernize its fleet by adding four A330neo aircraft alongside eight Boeing 737 MAX 8s in the third quarter of 2024. The fleet modernization is expected to support the post-pandemic growth of the local aviation industry.

Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG), the parent company of Malaysia Airlines, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Airbus and Roll Royce in 2022. The flag carrier will acquire 10 A330neo aircraft that are directly purchased from Airbus, which are scheduled to be delivered through 2028 with the remaining 10 aircraft leased from Avolon. The deal is a “lower and stable cost base, and with assurance of supporting financing.”

The A330neo features Rolls Royce Trent 7000 engines, comprised of 28 seats in Business Class and 269 seats in Economy class, of which 24 seats come with extra legroom. Also, the new aircraft could offer up to a 25% reduction in fuel consumption and emissions.

The new arrivals are expected to replace the A330ceo fleet operating in its network throughout Asia, Oceania and the Middle East.

“We aspire to curate an overall passenger experience that not only meets premium standards but exceeds them, underpinned by our inimitable Malaysian Hospitality.” Datuk Captain Izham Ismail, Group Managing Director of MAG, said.

The airline will go further in retrofitting six of its A350-900s in 2026 to ensure consistent cabin standardization and premium experience in alignment with the new A330neo cabins.

A Malaysia Airlines A350. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Ben Suskind)

Earlier, Airbus said Malaysia is the aircraft manufacturer’s third-largest market in the Asia-Pacific region, following China and India. However, Boeing is also supplying the carrier’s fleet. Back in 2016, Malaysia Airlines ordered a total of 25 737 MAX 8 aircraft through its operating lease with Air Lease Corporation, which will be delivered through 2026.

The first Boeing 737 MAX 8 was delayed in delivery for three months due to a supply chain issue last year. The new aircraft has 12 seats in Business class and 162 seats in Economy class.

Increased Flight Frequencies

According to the airline, the group including Malaysia Airlines, Firefly, MASwings, and MASkargo, currently owns a fleet of 104 aircraft through its subsidiaries.

Malaysia is seeing a recovery after the pandemic. The carrier had gotten into gear and announced an increase in domestic flight frequencies as a result of high demand. Meanwhile, Malaysia is making every effort to entice foreigners to go to the country. Earlier, the government granted visa-free entry to Chinese and Indian nationals. Thailand is also carrying out a similar policy with travelers from the two countries.

Malaysia Airlines could stand to benefit from the policy. In response to the surge of travel demand, the airline has recently launched services to Ahmedabad , India. Ahmedabad becomes the airline’s ninth destination in India.

Pete Ainsley


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