20 ATW | October 2018 | atwonline.com
inal plan was for all A380s to exit the mainline fleet,
“we feel there is some opportunity” for the aircraft in
scheduled operations, he said.
MAB’s fleet moves have been another major aspect of
its restructuring. As well as the A380 changes, the airline phased out its Boeing 777 fleet by 2016. Since
then it has been adding more of the mid-sized widebody types that are better suited to its network plans.
Te carrier ordered six Airbus A350-900s, which
have now all been delivered. Tese have been primarily
used to replace the A380s on the twice-daily London
flights, as well as operating on routes to Osaka and Tokyo in Japan. Te airline also leased six used Airbus
A330-200s formerly operated by airberlin, boosting its
A330 passenger fleet to 21.
MAB is now considering further orders for new-generation widebody aircraft. Te carrier has just completed a request-for-information process and is now reviewing information submitted by the manufacturers.
MAB will then seek board approval before opening a
formal tender process. A decision could be made and
an order announced by late this year or early 2019,
Te company will look at mid-size aircraft such as
Boeing 787s, A350s or A330neos for this requirement.
However, Izham stressed that MAB will consider proposals for other types too, including aircraft models
that are still on the drawing board. One factor the airline will take into consideration is the need to start
replacing its current A330 fleet from about 2023.
Boeing and MAB signed an MOU in September
2017 that would have led to an order for eight 787s.
However, the MOU was non-binding and lapsed in
June. Te carrier has since started its aircraft considerations afresh.
On the narrowbody side of the operation, MAB has
placed firm orders for 25 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft,
with another 25 options. Deliveries of these will begin
in late 2019 and will replace the airline’s existing 737s
as they arrive, Izham said. MAB now operates 48 737s.
Despite its plans for new aircraft, Izham stresses that
MAB intends to keep capacity growth in check. In the
near term, this translates to annual capacity growth of
between 3% and 4%, which may increase to between
4% and 6% from around 2021. “In the quest to stabilize [MAB], we are not rushing ourselves to grow exponentially,” he said. “Te aim is a growth rate which is
sustainable for the organization.”
MALAYSIA AIRLINES A350-900.