Malaysia Airlines CEO: Near decision on replacing 21 A330s.
Malaysia Airlines plans to announce a decision on replacing its fleet of 21 Airbus A330 widebodies with more fuel-efficient new-generation planes around mid-to-late July, its chief executive said on Sunday (Jun 19).
“We are in a late stage of the process.
We are looking at one-to-one replacement on our A330 fleet,” Malaysia Airlines chief executive Izham Ismail told Reuters on the sidelines of airline industry body IATA’s annual meeting in Qatar.
He declined to say whether the airline would order the planes to replace 15 A330-300s and six A330-200s from a manufacturer directly or from lessors.
The Airbus A330neo, A350 and Boeing 787 are the new-technology options competing in that size range, but Izham declined to disclose which types were under consideration.
Malaysia Airlines has A350s in its fleet and had placed a provisional order for 787s in 2017 but let the deal lapse.
The fleet modernisation plan designed to help lower carbon emissions comes as the airline, which was loss-making for years before the pandemic, has reported positive cash flow since October.
Izham said Malaysia Airlines, which cut its debt burden by more than half as part of a restructuring agreed with creditors last year, hoped to return to a profit in 2023.
Malaysia Airlines CEO
In last week’s least surprising news, Malaysia Airlines hasn’t managed to offload any of its six A380s after advertising them for sale online.
The Kuala Lumpur-based airline has had the planes for sale since July last year and has periodically plugged them ever since to potential buyers on mainstream and social media platforms.
But there aren’t many people in the market for a used A380 these days.
Malaysia Airlines Group Chief Executive Officer Captain Izham Ismail spoke to media at the Aviation Festival Asia 2022 in Singapore this week.
He confirmed the airline’s six Airbus A380-800s remain grounded and, while declining to discuss details, said talks regarding their sale remained ongoing.
“We are in conversations with potential buyers. There are inquiries, and that remains confidential,” he said.
Malaysia Airlines only took its first A380 in May 2012 – just over ten years ago.
The remaining jumbos arrived relatively swiftly, with the last delivered in March 2013.
There were grand plans for the A380 at the airline, including using them to position Malaysia Airlines as a top-tier premium long-haul carrier.
But the plane never really made its mark at Malaysia Airlines.
The A380 did decent business flying the seasonal Hajj charters and operating Umrah flights to Jeddah and Medina.
Malaysia Airlines also scheduled the plane on regular runs to London (LHR), Sydney (SYD), and Seoul (ICN). However, the A380 never lived up to expectations at Malaysia Airlines.
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