US said to plan reinstating Malaysia aviation safety ranking

SINGAPORE • The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will restore Malaysia’s air-safety ranking to Category 1 three years after a downgrade prohibited an expansion of flights from the Southeast Asian nation to the US, according to people with knowledge of the matter. 

Malaysia has resolved all 33 issues raised by the FAA in 2019 when it lowered the rating to Category 2, said the people, who asked not be identified as the information is private. The US authority is expected to release a statement on the matter before the month-end, the people said.

A representative for Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

A return to Category 1 would allow Malaysian airlines to expand in the lucrative US market and enter codeshare agreements with American carriers. It would also remove some safety concerns as the nation seeks to boost tourism after reopening its borders in April and lifting most Covid curbs. 

Malaysian Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong told local media last week that he would be meeting FAA officials on the air-safety rating issue. The downgrade put Malaysia alongside nations including Thailand, Bangladesh and Costa Rica. — Bloomberg