Malaysia Airlines Bhd to operate new A350-900s

The recently-relaunched Malaysian national carrier that was rebranded from Malaysia Airlines System (MAS) to Malaysia Airlines Berhard (MAB), has signed a contract with US-based Air Lease Corporation (ALC) for the long-term lease of four new A350-900s.

Th e restructuring has left many speculating on what will become of the former cargo arm MASKargo, after restructuring saw nearly a third of its staff cut and a number of long-haul routes were axed. No offi cial statement has been made with regards to the cargo division, nor what will become of its six freighters – two B747-400Fs and four A330-200s.

A source close to the cargo division told Payload Asia recently that cargo would remain a focus within the airline despite network cuts which included the end of passenger service and its three freighter flights a week to Frankfurt back in end-May. Two of those maindeck frequencies were then shifted to Amsterdam which remains a key cargo hub for the carrier. With the addition of the two freighter fl ights a week, the tonnage – including belly capacity – increased from 370 tonnes to roughly 570 tonnes a week.

MASkargo also commenced twice weekly A330F freighter service to Dhaka, Bangladesh from late-June, inline with its new regional orientation under Mueller’s guidance.

MAB began operating under its new Air Operators Certifi cate from 1 September after being issued with its new AOC by the Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation. Minister of Transport Liow Tiong Lai said granting the AOC, after several months of audits to establish airworthiness, MRO capability and regulatory conformity, was “an important milestone in the evolution of Malaysia’s national airline”.