Malaysia Airlines (MH/MAS) has selected the A330-900 to form the basis of its widebody fleet renewal programme as it phases out its older A330 fleet.
The Kuala Lumpur-based carrier has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will see it purchase 10 Airbus A330-900 aircraft directly from Airbus and a further 10 will be leased by Dublin-based leasing specialist Avolon.
According to Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) CEO Izham Ismail, the Trent 700 powered airliners are the “natural transition” from the airline’s A330ceo fleet. He said: “The A330neo will not only provide fleet modernisation and enhanced operational efficiency, but will also meet environmental targets through reduced fuel-burn per seat, while keeping passenger safety and comfort at its core. This is a significant milestone as MAG moves towards the successful execution of our Long-Term Business Plan 2.0 to position itself as a leading aviation services Group within the region.”
A second MoU will also see Airbus and MAG enter into a wider collaboration covering areas such as sustainability, training, maintenance and airspace management.
Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International Christian Scherer said: “Malaysia Airlines is one of the great Asian carriers and we are proud and humbled to be its preferred supplier of widebody aircraft. The decision is a clear endorsement of the A330neo as the most efficient option in this size category for premium operations. It’s also the clear winner in terms of in-flight comfort and we are looking forward to working with Malaysia Airlines to define an exceptional cabin experience.”
The deal is more good news for the UK as not only are the Trent 700 engines made by Rolls-Royce in Derby, the wings are made by Airbus in Broughton, North Wales along with other components at Airbus’ Bristol Filton site.