MIAMI — Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is ending its service to Los Angeles on April 30. The city is currently the only metropolis in the US to receive service to Kuala Lumpur (via Tokyo) from the highly rated airline. The carrier cited losses on the route as the main driver behind its decision.
MAS group’s CEO, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, said that Los Angeles “is no longer economically viable.” He continued by explaining, “the factors contributing to this negative situation today include over capacity and competition resulting in lower yields, high cost of operating the B777 aircraft, and pressure from continued increases in fuel costs. These are adding further pressure to the expenses of Malaysia Airlines group, which we are continuously evaluating.”
In regards to Malaysia’s position as a top tourist destination in Asia, MAS says it will work aggressively with its code share and oneworld partners such as American Airlines and Japan Airlines to continue feeding traffic into the country.
As the carrier prepares to exit the US, it is turning its gaze to its home region of Asia. It believes the demand outlook is economically viable thanks to a growing middle class and increased trade both regionally and globally. It reported that will add frequency to regional cities to take advantage of that increased demand.
The carrier went through a similar round of route cuts in 2012.