Malaysia Airlines Considers Ordering 45 New Aircraft
November 9, 2023
KUALA LUMPUR, 9 NOV | Malaysian flag carrier, Malaysia Airlines, is reportedly considering an order for 45 new aircraft, consisting of 35 narrowbody and 10 widebody jets to support its growth and fleet renewal plans. Group Managing Director Datuk Captain Izham Ismail told Bloomberg that the airline will start opening manufacturer bids next year, with deliveries expected between 2028 (short-haul) and 2030 (long-haul).
Currently, the airline has 20 A330neos on order- which are expected to be delivered on time in September 2024. The airline also has 25 Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets on lease from Air Lease Corporation, announced at the 2022 Singapore Airshow. These deliveries have been significantly delayed, since it was supposed to begin in early-2023, but has not begun to date. The airline expects their first few MAX aircraft next week, registered as 9M-MVA and 9M-MVD.
Malaysia Airlines has 25 737 MAXs on order.
Now, lets take a look at the possible aircraft the airline could order. As for narrowbody jets, there are endless possibilities. Malaysia Airlines' Group Managing Director, Captain Ismail, last week, expressed his frustration with Boeing regarding the MAX delays, and cited the probability for choosing a different aircraft type for the next stage of fleet expansion/renewal. He stated, "We're agnostic of the aircraft type after what we have gone through in the last few months (with Boeing)...We're open to (the) A220. To a certain extent, what's wrong with COMAC? If the fleet meets our mission, vision and aspiration and is commercially favourable to MAG, we'll go with the aircraft type.". The COMAC C919 jet has been gaining popularity within China, with over 1,500 orders in its backlog. Similarly, the A220 variants have become a popular choice worldwide, with airlines such as Air Baltic basing their entire fleet on it.
For the widebody order, the airline has stated interest in expanding their A350-900 fleet, with Malaysia Airlines's CEO stating in June that he intends to lease an additional 4 A350-900s as soon as possible to complement their current fleet of 6 A350-900s. Out of the 10 widebody aircrafts planned to be ordered, a portion, if not all, of it will most definitely consist of the Airbus A350. The airline could also seek more A330neos, or opt for Boeing's 787 dreamliners- like they did in 2017, in a MoU which eventually did not materialise.
The carrier currently has a fleet consisting of 6 A330-200s (average age 14.7 years old), 42 Boeing 737-800NGs (average age 10.9 years old) and 6 A350-900s (average age 5.8 years old).