Malaysia Airlines buys 20 A330neo aircrafts

The new aircrafts will be arriving in stages by 2H24

by ANIS HAZIM / Pic by AFP

MALAYSIA Aviation Group Bhd (MAG), the parent company of Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB), has acquired 20 A330neo widebody jets to replace its 21 A330ceo aircrafts as well as join its fleet of six long range A350-900 aircrafts.

Its CEO Captain Izham Ismail said, through the provisional agreement, the group will buy ten airplanes from Airbus SE, and execute a sale and leaseback deal with Dublin-based Avolon for the other ten airplanes.

“The current A330ceo is ageing, the cost is high to maintain, and MAB remains steadfast in the safety of our airplanes — so there’s a lot of pressure,” Izham said at the press conference today.

He said acquiring the new A330neo aircrafts is the best way for the group’s cost saving in the future as it promises 25% fuel efficiency.

“This is a significant milestone as MAG moves towards the successful execution of our long-term business plan 2.0 to position ourself as a leading aviation services group within the region,” he noted.

MAG is expected to receive the new A330neo aircrafts in stages by the second half of 2024 (2H24) until 2028.

He said, however, the value of the aircrafts remains confidential and can’t be disclosed to the public.

With a premium layout seating 300 passengers in two classes and powered by the latest Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, the A330neo will be covering Asia, Pacific and the Middle East.

Additionally, Airbus and MAG also signed a letter of intent to study a wider collaboration in the areas of sustainability, training, maintenance and airspace management.

When asked whether MAG will require additional capital from its sole shareholder, Khazanah Nasional Bhd, Izham views that wouldn’t be the case in the near future

“In the current trajectory, I don’t see that this year we will go back to Khazanah. While the RM3.6 billion already committed, our job is to ensure we optimise taxpayers money especially through Khazanah,” he added.

To note, Khazanah has injected RM3.6 billion in new capital into the MAG to fund the group’s business until 2025.

Meanwhile, MAG is expected to return to its pre-pandemic level capacity at 70% by end of this year.