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NEWS UPDATES 30 September 2009

Malaysian flag-carrier to keep A380 orders

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Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is not replacing its order of six Airbus A380 super jumbo aircraft for smaller wide-body aircraft, local business daily StarBiz reported, quoting chief executive officer and managing director Datuk Tengku Azmil Zahruddin.

The daily quoted another local daily as reporting that MAS was considering swapping the A380 orders for smaller wide-body aircraft such as the A330 or A350 due to the decline in air traffic amid a prolonged world economic recovery.

“Although the deliveries of the A380s are delayed, where MAS should have received all six planes by now, we believe there will not be any more slippage.

“We now expect the A380s to be delivered in 2011,” Tengku Azmil said after a signing ceremony with CFM International for CFM engines to be used in the airline’s Boeing 737-800 (B737) fleet.

On the industry outlook, Tengku Azmil said the general business environment would continue to be challenging for the rest of this year and next year.

“But we hope to see recovery in the second half of 2010. For now, recovery is not apparent on the passenger side but cargo is showing some improvement although conclusive data still need to be gathered,” he said.

Under the agreement with CFM International, CFM will provide full support for the engines, which includes technical training, engineering and repair services as well as the provision of spare parts.

CFM International is a joint-venture company between General Electric Co and Snecma from SAFRAN Group.

Tengku Azmil said MAS had placed 35 firm orders and 20 optional orders for the B737 aircraft last year and expected the deliveries to commence in the fourth quarter of next year.

“We may also exercise some of the 20 optional orders in accordance with our fleet growth plan. The B737 will be used primarily for the Asean region, Australia, China, India and domestic operations,” he said.


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