DALLAS – Malaysia Airlines (MH) has announced an order for 20 Airbus A330-900 aircraft as part of its widebody fleet renewal program.
The new aircraft are set to replace the airline’s aging fleet of 21 A330-200 and A330-300 aircraft, which are deployed on short to medium haul routes to cities in Asia, the Pacific, and the Middle East.
According to a press release detailing the order, the new aircraft will be fitted with a two-class layout with 300 seats, compared to the 290 offered by the airline’s A330-300 aircraft.
As part of the deal, 10 of the aircraft will be directly purchased from Airbus, while the remaining 10 will be leased from Avolon.
The Airbus A330neo has become a popular option among airlines in Asia. MH will be joining A330neo operators Starlux Airlines (JX), Lion Air (JT), Garuda Indonesia (GA), Cebu Pacific (5J), and Thai AirAsia X (XJ).
Listen to this article:
Boeing to Airbus
As MH has continued to evolve, the airline has moved away from operating Boeing widebody aircraft to Airbus.
Although the airline had previously operated large fleets of Boeing 747 and 777 aircraft, the airline has moved to Airbus A330 and A350 aircraft for their medium to long-haul flights.
Now, the A330-900s will complement the airline’s small fleet of A350-900s that operate MH’s flagship routes. While the A350-900 aircraft are fitted with three-class seating, the A330-900s will not include a first-class product.
Izham Ismail, Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia Airlines said, “The acquisition of the A330neo is a natural transition from our current A330ceo fleet.
He continued, “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.”
Featured image: Airbus