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Malaysia Airlines to expand fleet

10 November, 2022

“Our future network requires 50 narrowbody airplanes, so we still have space for 25,” Izham said on the sidelines of an annual meeting of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines in Bangkok. “We have to make a decision by next year.”


Deliveries from the existing Max order are due to begin in 2024. An order for 25 Max costs about US$1.2 billion (RM5.6 billion), based on prices compiled by aircraft appraiser Avitas Inc.

“We continue to work with our customers to meet their fleet requirements,” a Boeing spokesperson said. “We do not disclose ongoing customer discussions.”

Malaysia Airlines’ passenger traffic is back to 76% of pre-Covid levels, with a full recovery domestically, and should reach 82% by year-end, Izham said. China accounted for 17% of capacity before the pandemic and the country may start reopening by the second quarter next year, Izham said.

“We don’t have enough airplanes,” he said.

The airline is focusing on shifting passenger capacity from domestic to international markets amid concerns of overcapacity among carriers in Malaysia, the CEO said. Other challenges include high fuel prices, rising interest rates and a strong dollar in 2023.

Malaysia Airlines ordered 20 Airbus SE A330neo widebody planes in August. It hasn’t considered taking any Max jets that Boeing has sought to offload from mainland Chinese carriers, Izham said, citing incompatibility and a lack of consistency with Malaysia Airlines’ plane configurations.

The carrier will remove all Airbus A380s — the world’s biggest passenger jet — from its fleet by the end of this year and return them to the European plane maker, Izham said. Malaysia Airlines has six A380s.

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