Raya Airways begins ambitious, but measured expansion

In an environment where optimism is a scarce commodity and carriers are for the most part, either scaling back their freighter operations or maintaining the status quo, Malaysia’s Raya Airways stands out in distinctive, yet low key, contrast for its ambitions plans both in the air and on the ground.

B757F B767F KLIA Raya Airways Subang Airport Transmile

Having recently taken delivery of its first dry-lease B767F in early March, Subang, Malaysia-based Raya Airways (the former Transmile Air Services) is now setting off on a carefully-charted expansion plan that will see its fleet grow to six aircraft and new services to Japan, China, South Korea and India by year-end.

“We are very much a Southeast Asian-targeted, regional airline, but we have aspirations to go beyond that,” says Raya’s commercial director, Lee Shashitheren speaking to media in Berlin recently.

Specifically, in the near term this means Mumbai and Delhi, with an option for Bangalore, Shanghai in China, Narita in Japan and Incheon in South Korea. And by the end of next year the carrier plans to have a fleet of nine aircraft facilitating the opening of new routes and additional services to Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia and Bangladesh while adding frequency to Hong Kong and Singapore.

Lee Shashitheren Lee Shashitheren

The carrier already operates flights into Hong Kong which covers the Pearl River Delta region, alongside Singapore, Labuan, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching in West Malaysia, as well as, Jakarta and the Vietnamese cities of Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. These destinations are operated with its current fleet of three B727-200Fs, one B757-200F and its newly arrived B767-200F.