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NEWS UPDATES 26 September 2009

Malaysia’s flag-carrier mulls smaller aircraft to replace A380

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Malaysia Airlines (MAS) may be considering replacing its order for six Airbus A380 superjumbos with smaller wide-body aircraft such as the A330 or A350, according to a Standard & Poor's (S&P) report.

"We understand that MAS has broached the idea of swapping the A380 for smaller wide-body aircraft such as the A330 and Airbus' upcoming A350 to avoid a massive penalty of up to $300 million (RM1 billion) if it were to cancel the A380 orders," S&P Asia Equity Research analyst Shukor Yusof said in a report.

According to a source familiar with the situation, MAS is looking to buy as many as 18 A330s, with the option to buy another seven.

"MAS recently sent its technical staff to Toulouse (France), where Airbus is headquartered, to evaluate the smaller wide-body aircraft," the source told Business Times, a local business daily.

MAS chief executive officer and managing director Datuk Tengku Azmil Zahruddin dismissed the S&P report as unfounded.


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