By D KANYAKUMARI
Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Boeing Co to purchase 16 airplanes in Washington today.
The signing was witnessed by International Trade and Industry minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak.
In a statement, MAB said these 16 aircrafts include eight 787-9 Dreamliners, by converting eight of Malaysia Airlines’ existing order of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft and eight additional purchase rights of the 737 MAX 8s.
“The MoU also includes Boeing’s Global Fleet Care service in order to maintain the national carrier’s current and future Boeing airplanes,” MAB said, adding that once the deal is finalised it will be posted to Boeing’s Orders and Deliveries website.
MAB MD and CEO Peter Bellew said that new widebody aircraft are a key to making MAS a premium airline offering a five star product again.
“The extraordinary range of the 787-9 gives an ability to operate to any point in Europe and some USA destinations in the future from Kuala Lumpur.
“While the MOU with Boeing on their Global Fleet Care program will allow the two companies to build a world class Maintenance and Repair Operations (MRO) for the 737 MAX, 787 and 737NG aircraft based on Malaysia’s existing facilities in Kuala Lumpur,” he said.
Meanwhile, Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Kevin McAllister said in the statement said the 787 and the 737 MAX will provide MAS with unmatched fuel efficiency, economics and a superior passenger experience.
MAB currently operates more than 50 Next-Generation 737s and has an additional 25 737 MAXs on order, including 10 for the new 737 MAX 10.
Bellew had first made an announcement to purchase new airplanes in March, where he explained that the airline did not have sufficient aircrafts to cope with the demand from consumers.