Malaysia Airlines


Malaysia Airlines
Malaysia Airlines System (MAS)
Penerbangan Malaysia
IATA
MH
ICAO
MAS
Callsign
MALAYSIAN
Founded 1947 (as Malayan Airways), October 1, 1972 (as Malaysian Airline System)
Hubs
Secondary hubs Kuching International Airport
Frequent-flyer program
Airport lounge Golden Lounge
Alliance Oneworld (future)[1]
Subsidiaries
Fleet size 100 (+60 orders, 20 options)
Destinations 85 inc. Maswings
Company slogan "MH" is Malaysian Hospitality
Parent company Penerbangan Malaysia Berhad (Government Holding Company)
Headquarters Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport
Subang, Selangor, Malaysia
Key people Tan Sri Md Nor Yusof (Chairman)
Ahmad Jauhari Yahya (Managing Director)
Mohd. Rashdan Mohd. Yusof (Executive Director)[2]
Website www.malaysiaairlines.com

Malaysian Airline System Berhad (MYX: 3786), DBA Malaysia Airlines (abbreviated MAS), is the government-owned flag carrier of Malaysia. Malaysia Airlines operates flights from its home base, Kuala Lumpur International Airport, and its eastern hub in Kota Kinabalu. It has its headquarters on the grounds of Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang, Selangor.[3]

Malaysia Airlines operates flight in Southeast Asia, East Asia, South Asia, Middle East and on the Kangaroo Route between Europe and Australasia in addition to transatlantic flights from Kuala Lumpur to Buenos Aires, via Cape Town. It operates transpacific flights from Kuala Lumpur to Los Angeles, via Taipei.

Malaysia Airlines' non-aeronautical revenue sources include maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO),[4] and aircraft handling. Malaysia Airlines has two airline subsidiaries: Firefly and MASwings. Firefly operates scheduled flights from its two home bases Penang International Airport and Subang International Airport. The airline focuses on tertiary cities although has recently launched services to Borneo from Kuala Lumpur International Airport. MASwings focuses on inter-Borneo flights. Malaysia Airlines has a freighter fleet operated by MASKargo, which manages freighter flights and aircraft cargo-hold capacity for all Malaysia Airlines' passenger flights. MASCharter is another subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines, operating charter flights using Malaysia Airlines' aircraft. After recovering from past losses, Malaysia Airlines is keen on merger and acquisition (M&A) activities: particularly airlines in the Asia Pacific region.[5] Malaysia Airlines was ranked second with score 88 in Aviation Week's Top Performing Companies which accurately measures financial viability of an airline.[6]

Since its inception in 1963, after Malayan Airways was separated into two parts, Malaysia Airlines has won awards for service and safety,[7] coupled with awards from international bodies such as Skytrax.[8] Malaysia Airlines is accredited by International Air Transport Association with IOSA (IATA Operational Safety Audit) for its operational safety practices.[9]

Malaysia Airlines is one of the seven airlines to be ranked as a 5-star airline by the independent research consultancy firm Skytrax.[10] Malaysia Airlines is also listed among Skytrax's Quality Approved Airlines.[11]

Contents

History

Malaysia Airlines commenced operations in 1987 after the airline changed its name from Malaysian Airline System. The airline began in 1947 as Malayan Airways, being renamed Malaysian Airways after Malaysia gained independence. After that, it changed its name once more to Malaysia-Singapore Airlines and thereafter ceased its operation. It was then divided into Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines.

An Airspeed Consul, the first aircraft type operated by Malayan Airways.

Malayan Aviation History

Scheduled air passenger and mail services in Malaya commenced in 1937 when Wearne's Air Service (WAS) commenced operating services between Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Penang. Wearne's Air Service was started by two Australian brothers, Theodore and Charles Wearnes.[12] The service commenced as a thrice weekly flight between Singapore and Penang The first flight, using an 8-seater de Havilland DH.89A Dragon Rapide took place on 28 June 1937[13] This inaugural flight departed Singapore from the then brand-new Kallang Airport which had just opened earlier in the same month on 12 June[14] Later a second D.H.89A enabled the expansion to daily services as well as the addition of Ipoh as a destination. The WAS services ceased with the onset of the Second World War Japanese occupation of Malaya and Singapore.

Beginnings

An initiative[15] by the Alfred Holt's Liverpool-based Ocean Steamship Company, in partnership with the Straits Steamship Company[16] and Imperial Airways, resulted in the incorporation in Singapore on 12 October 1937, Malayan Airways Limited (MAL). But the first paying passengers could be welcomed on board only some 10 years later. After the war, MAL was restructured to include just the partnership of Straits Steamship and Ocean Steamship. The airline's first flight was a charter flight from the British Straits Settlement of Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, on 2 April 1947, using an Airspeed Consul twin-engined aircraft.[17] This inaugural flight on the "Raja Udang",[18] with only five passengers, departed Singapore's Kallang Airport and was bound for Kuala Lumpur's Sungai Besi Airport. Weekly scheduled flights quickly followed from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh and Penang from 1 May 1947 with the same aircraft type.[19] The airline continued to expand during the rest of the 1940s and 1950s, as other British Commonwealth airlines (such as BOAC and Qantas Empire Airways) provided technical assistance, as well as assistance in joining IATA. By 1955, Malayan Airways' fleet had grown to include a large number of Douglas DC-3s, and went public in 1957. Other aircraft operated in the first two decades included the Douglas DC-4 Skymaster, the Vickers Viscount, the Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation, the Bristol Britannia, the De Havilland Comet 4 and the Fokker F27. Over the next few years, the airline expanded rapidly, boosted by post-war air travel demand when flying became more than a privilege for the rich and famous. By 12 April 1960, the airline was operating Douglas DC-3s, Super Constellations and Viscounts on new routes from Singapore to Hong Kong, and from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok via Penang. Flights were also introduced from Singapore to cities in the Borneo Territories, including Brunei, Jesselton (now Kota Kinabalu), Kuching, Sandakan and Sibu.

In 1957, the airline became a state-run stock corporation. With the delivery of an 84-seat Bristol Britannia in 1960, the airline launched its first long-haul international flight, to Hong Kong. When Malaya, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak formed the Federation of Malaysia in 1963, the airline's name was changed, from "Malayan Airways" to "Malaysian Airlines" (though still abbreviated to MAS). MAS also took over Borneo Airways. In 1966, following Singapore's separation from the federation, the airline's name was changed again, to Malaysia-Singapore Airlines (MSA). The next year saw a rapid expansion in the airline's fleet and routes, including the purchase of MSA's first Boeing aircraft: the Boeing 707s, as well as completion of a new high-rise headquarters in Singapore. Boeing 737s were added to the fleet soon afterward.

Incorporation

The differing needs of the two shareholders, however, led to the break-up of the airline just 6 years later. The Singapore government preferred to develop the airline's international routes, while the Malaysian government had no choice but to develop the domestic network first before going regional and eventually international. MSA ceased operations in 1972, with its assets split between two new airlines; Malaysian Airline System (MAS)(now Malaysia Airlines), and Singapore Airlines.

With the Singapore government determined to develop Singapore Airlines' international routes, it took the entire fleet of seven Boeing 707s and five Boeing 737s, which would allow it to continue servicing its regional and long-haul international routes. Since most of MSA's international routes were flown out of Singapore, the majority of international routes were in the hands of Singapore Airlines. In addition, MSA's headquarters, which was located in Singapore, became the headquarters of that airline.

The initials MSA were well regarded as an airline icon, and both carriers tried to use them. Malaysian went for MAS by just transposing the last two letters and choosing the name Malaysian Airline System, while Singapore originally proposed the name Mercury Singapore Airlines to keep the MSA initials, but changed its mind and went for SIA instead. Acronyms for airline names later became less fashionable, and both carriers then moved on to their descriptive names.

Expansion

Boeing 737-200 of MAS at Brunei International Airport in 1987.

Malaysian Airline System took all domestic routes within Malaysia and international routes out of that country, as well as the remaining fleet of Fokker F27's. It began flights on 1 October 1972. Soon after that, Malaysia Airline System rapidly expanded its services, including introducing long-haul flights from Kuala Lumpur to London.

In the same year, MAS operated flights to more than 34 regional destinations and six international services. In 1976, after receiving its DC-10-30 aircraft, MAS scheduled flights reached Europe, with initial services from Kuala Lumpur to Amsterdam, Paris and Frankfurt.

An economic boom in Malaysia during the 1980s helped spur growth at Malaysia Airlines. By the end of the decade, MAS was flying to 47 overseas destinations, including eight European destinations, seven Oceania destinations, and the United States destinations of Los Angeles and Honolulu. In 1993, Malaysia Airlines reached South America when the airline received its Boeing 747 aircraft. When Malaysia Airlines introduced its service from Kuala Lumpur to South America, MAS became the first airline in Southeast Asia to serve South America via its flights to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Malaysia Airlines also flew to Mexico City between 1994 and 1998, taking advantage of fifth-freedom rights which allowed it carry passengers between Mexico City and Los Angeles, enroute to Kuala Lumpur.

First unprofitability

Prior to the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997, the airline suffered losses of as much as RM 260 million after earning a record-breaking RM319 million profit in the financial year 1996/1997. The airline then introduced measures to bring its P&L back into the black. For the financial year 1999/2000, the airline cut its losses from RM700 million in the year 1998/1999 to RM259 million. However, the airline plunged into further losses in the following year, amounting to RM417 million in FY2000/2001 and RM836 million in FY2001/2002. With these losses, the airline cut many unprofitable routes, such as Brussels, Darwin, Honolulu, Madrid, Munich and Vancouver.

The airline recovered from its losses in the year 2002/2003. It achieved its then-highest profit in the year 2003/2004, totaling RM461 million.

Second unprofitability

Regional services flown by Fokker F50s, such as this one, were once operated at a substantial loss.

In the year 2005, Malaysia Airlines reported a loss of RM1.3 billion. Revenue for the financial period was up by 10.3% or RM826.9 million, compared to the same period for 2004, driven by a 10.2% growth in passenger traffic. International passenger revenue increased by RM457.6 million or 8.4%, to RM5.9 billion, while cargo revenue decreased by RM64.1 million or 4.2%, to RM1.5 billion. Costs increased by 28.8% or RM2.3 billion, amounting to a total of RM 10.3 billion, primarily due to escalating fuel prices. Other cost increases included staff costs, handling and landing fees, aircraft maintenance and overhaul charges, Widespread Assets Unbundling (WAU) charges and leases.[20]

The Government of Malaysia appointed Idris Jala as the new CEO on 1 December 2005, to execute changes in operations and corporate culture. Several weaknesses in airline operations were identified as the causes of the RM1.3 billion loss. These included esclating fuel prices, increased maintenance and repair costs, staff costs, low yield per available seat kilometre ("ASK") via poor yield management and an inefficient route network. Under the leadership of Idris Jala, Malaysia Airlines launched its Business Turnaround Plan in 2006, developed using the Government-linked company (GLC) Transformation Manual as a guide.

The most substantial factor in the losses was fuel costs. For the period, the total fuel cost was RM3.5 billion, representing a 40.4% increase compared to the same period in 2004. Total fuel cost increases comprised RM977.8 million due to higher fuel prices and another RM157.6[20] million due to additional consumption. In the third quarter, fuel costs were RM1.26 billion, compared to the RM1.01 billion in the corresponding period in 2004, resulting in a 24.6% increase or RM249.3 million.[20]

Another factor for the losses was high operating costs. MAS substantially lagged its peers on yield. Some of this gap is due to differences in traffic mix,[21] (less business traffic to and from Malaysia than to and from Singapore), but much of it was due to weaknesses in pricing and revenue management, sales and distribution, brand presence in foreign markets, and alliance base. Malaysia Airlines has one of the lowest labour costs per ASK at USD0.41, compared to other airlines such as Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines at USD0.59 and USD0.60[21] respectively. However, despite its low labour cost, the ratio of ASK revenue (millions) to this cost was, at 2.8, much lower than Singapore Airlines, where the ratio is 5.0, and slightly higher than Thai International Airways[21]

There are other factors listed in the Business Turnaround Plan of Malaysia Airlines, all leading to the net loss of RM1.3 billion in the year 2005.

Recovery from unprofitability

Under the various initiatives, launched together with the Business Turnaround Plan, Malaysia Airlines switched from losses to profitability between FY2006 and FY2007. When the Business Turnaround Plan came to an end, the airline posted a record profit of 851 million Ringgit (265 million dollars) in 2007, ending a series of losses since 2005. The result exceeded the target of RM300 Million by 184%.[22]

Route rationalising was one of the major contributors to the airline's return to profitability. Malaysia Airlines pared its domestic routes from 114 to 22, and also cancelled virtually all unprofitable international routes (such as Kuala Lumpur-Manchester, that required a 140% load factor to break even). Apart from that, Malaysia Airlines also rescheduled all of its flight timings and changed its operations model from point to point services to hub and spoke services.

Additionally, the airline started Project Omega and Project Alpha to improve the company's network and revenue management. Emphasis has been placed on six areas: pricing, revenue management, network scheduling, opening storefronts, low season strategy and distribution management.

Malaysia Airlines has been involved in discussions for new aircraft purchases, using its cash surplus of 5.3 billion Ringgit to eventually purchase 55 narrow-body aircraft and 55 wide-body aircraft.[23]

Despite these achievements, critics continue to deride the carrier for lagging behind its competitors in the region. This notion is not helped by the fact Malaysia Airlines has not made substantial investments in customer service, especially compared to Thai Airways or Singapore Airlines.

On 22 December 2009, Malaysia Airlines announced the purchase of 15 new Airbus A330 aircraft, with options for another 10. Expected to be delivered between 2011 and 2016, they are intended to operate on medium-haul routes to eastern Asia, Australia, and the Middle East. The airline's plans are to run Airbus A380 planes, which will be introduced into service in 2012, on long-haul routes, A330s on medium-haul routes, and Boeing 737 aircraft on short-haul routes. Under this plan, it is unclear where Boeing wide-bodies currently in the fleet would fall.[24]

Corporate information

Malaysia Airlines is listed on the stock exchange of Bursa Malaysia under the name Malaysian Airline System Berhad. The airline suffered high losses over the years due to poor management and fuel price increases. As a result of financial restructuring (Widespread Asset Unbundling)[20] in 2002, led by BinaFikir, Penerbangan Malaysia Berhad became its parent company, incorporated in 2002, in exchange for assuming the airline's long-term liabilities. On the operational side, the Government of Malaysia appointed Idris Jala as the new CEO on 1 December 2005, to execute changes in operations and corporate culture. Under his leadership, Malaysia Airlines unveiled its Business Turnaround Plan (BTP) in February, 2006, which identified low yield, an inefficient network and low productivity (overstaffing). The airline headquarters building in downtown Kuala Lumpur was sold. The new corporate headquarters is now at Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang, Selangor.

Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 flight MH138 docked at Adelaide Airport awaiting departure

Following the Widespread Asset Unbundling (WAU) restructuring of Malaysia Airlines, Malaysian Government investment arm and holding company, Khazanah Nasional's subsidiary, Penerbangan Malaysia Berhad[25] is the majority shareholder with a 52.0% stake.[25] After Penerbangan Malaysia Berhad, the second-largest shareholder is Khazanah Nasional, which holds 17.33% of the shares. Minority shareholders include Employees Provident Fund Board (10.72%), Amanah Raya Nominees (Tempatan) Sdn Bhd (5.69%), State Financial Secretary Sarawak (2.71%), foreign shareholders (5.13%)[25] and Warisan Harta Sabah (2.4%). It has 19,546 employees (as of March, 2007).[26] The Malaysian government reported that the government's holding company, Khazanah Nasional is keen on selling shares of Malaysia Airlines to remain globally competitive in an industry which is fast-consolidating.[5]

Subsidiaries

Malaysia Airlines has diversified in to related industries and sectors, including aircraft ground handling, aircraft leasing, aviation engineering, air catering, and tour operator operations. It has also restructured itself by spinning-off operational units as fully owned subsidiaries, to maintain its core business as a passenger airline. Malaysia Airlines has over 20 subsidiaries, with 13 of them fully owned by Malaysia Airlines.[27]

Some of the subsidiaries include:

Company Type Principal activities Incorporated in Group's Equity Shareholding
Malaysia Airlines Cargo Sdn. Bhd Subsidiary Cargo Malaysia 100%
GE Engine Services Malaysia Joint Venture Engine Overhaul Malaysia 30%
MASwings Sdn. Bhd. Subsidiary Airline Malaysia 100%
Firefly Sdn. Bhd. Subsidiary Airline Malaysia 100%
MAS Aerotechnologies Sdn Bhd Subsidiary MRO Malaysia 100%
MAS Golden Holidays Sdn Bhd Subsidiary Tour operator Malaysia 100%
Malaysian Aerospace Engineering Sdn Bhd Subsidiary Engineering Malaysia 100%
MAS Academy Sdn Bhd Subsidiary Flight school Malaysia 100%
Abacus Distribution Systems (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd Subsidiary Computer reservation system Malaysia 80%
Taj Madras Air Catering Limited Associate Catering India 20%
MAS Catering (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd Subsidiary Catering Sarawak 60%
LSG Sky Chefs Associate Holding company Malaysia 30%
MAS Engineering Training Centre Subsidiary Maintenance Training school Malaysia 100%

Financial highlights

Malaysia Airlines experienced its worst lost in FY2005, with RM1.25 billion losses. Since then, the Business Turnaround Plan was introduced to revive the airline, in the year 2006. At the end of the airline's turnaround program, in financial year 2007, Malaysia Airlines gained RM851 million net profit: a swing of RM987 million compared to RM134 million in losses in FY2006, marking the national carrier’s highest-ever profit in its 60-year history. The achievement was recognised as the world’s best airline-turnaround story in 2007, with Malaysia Airlines being awarded the Phoenix award by Penton Media's Air Transport World: the leading monthly magazine covering the global airline industry.[28]

Malaysia Airlines Financial Highlights.[29]
Year ended/(Quarter Ended) Revenue
(RM '000)
Expenditure
(RM '000)
Profit/(Loss)
after Tax (RM '000)
Shareholders
Fund (RM '000)
EPS after tax
(cents)
31 December 2002 8,864,385 8,872,391 increase336,531 2,562,841 increase38.7
31 December 2003 8,780,820 8,591,157 increase461,143 3,023,984 decrease36.8
31 December 2004 11,364,309 11,046,764 decrease326,07 3,318,732 decrease26.0
31 December 2005 9,181,338 10,434,634 decrease(1,251,603) 2,009,857 decrease(100.20)
31 December 2006 13,489,549 13,841,607 decrease(133,737) 1,873,452 decrease(10.90)
31 December 2007 15,288,640 14,460,299 increase852,743 3,934,893 increase58.05
31 December 2008 15,503,714 15,259,027 decrease245,697 4,186,000 decrease14.62
31 December 2009 12,782,086 12,288,980 increase493,106 747,596 increase28.64
31 December 2010 13,587,610 13,462,139 decrease237,346 3,524,166 decrease7.2

Branding

From the late 1990s up to 2007, Malaysia Airlines used the Going Beyond Expectations slogan to brand itself internationally. With the rollout of the Business Transformation Plan in 2008,[30] the CEO of Malaysia Airlines rejected the idea of using MH's network or certain other features as its new branding strategy.[31] Instead, the new branding strategy slogan is MH is Malaysian Hospitality, to emphasise the hospitality of its cabin crew instead of the airline's network and cabin classes.

Corporate image

Malaysia Airlines introduced Sarong Kebaya design on 1 March 1986[32] for female flight attendants. It was designed by the School of Fashion at Mara Institute of Technology (Malay: Institut Teknologi Mara) and later known as Mara University of Technology (Malay: Universiti Teknologi Mara). The batik material depicts the kelarai motif, which is a bamboo weave pattern. It appears in the background in subdued hues of the basic uniform colour. Superimposed on the kelarai motif is a mixture of Malaysian flora, such as the cempaka, jasmine and the leaves of the hibiscus. The geometric Sarawakian motif is used for the lapels of the baju, edges of sleeves and the sarong. On 1 January 1993, the colours of the batik were enhanced to complement the colour of the new uniform. The male flight attendants wear Ottanio colour jackets.[33] The stewardess' uniforms are similar to that of the Singapore Girls' (stewardesses of Singapore Airlines).

Malaysia Airlines regional cabin staff
Colour Code of female flight attendants
  • Red Sarong Kebaya with yellow flowers with red background are for the Inflight Supervisors
  • Sarong Kebaya with pink flowers are for Chief Stewardesses, Leading Stewardesses and Flight Stewardesses (see difference from the name tag)
  • Sarong Kebaya with magenta flowers are for the ground frontliners
Colour Code of male flight attendants
  • Black coat with red tie are for the Inflight Supervisors
  • Dark shade Ottanio colour jackets are for Chief Stewards, Leading Stewards and Flight Stewards (see difference from the name tag)
  • Light shade Ottanio colour jackets are for male ground frontliners

The history of the airline started in 1937, when Malayan Airways Limited was registered as a company. Flying operations started in 1947, with the aircraft bearing the symbol of a winged tiger. In 1963, the airline was renamed Malaysian Airways Limited, when the Federation of Malaysia was formed. Subsequently, Borneo Airways Limited was absorbed by Malaysian Airways Limited. In 1965, with the political separation of Singapore from Malaysia, there was continued participation by the governments of Malaysia and Singapore in the airline. In 1967, the company changed its name to Malaysia-Singapore Airline Limited (MSA), which was the joint national air carrier for both countries, and a new logo was introduced.

In 1971, Malaysia-Singapore Airline Limited was separated into two airlines, each with its own policies and objectives, leading to the birth of Malaysia's flag carrier, Malaysian Airline System (MAS), on 3 April 1971. The name was chosen because, in abbreviated form, MAS (as in EMAS) in Malay means gold, to symbolise quality service.

A new corporate logo designed by Dato' Johan Ariff, the Creative Director of Johan Design Associates (JDA) was introduced on 15 October 1987, retaining the essence of the moon kite, with a sheared swept-back look. Along with the new corporate logo, a new type style - MALAYSIA, was created. It is italicised to slant parallel with the logo to accentuate speed as well as direction. Within this corporate typestyle, the letters MAS bear red clippings to denote the initials of the statutory name of the airline, Malaysian Airline System (MAS), and were added after the original design was rejected by former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir. The introduction of blue to the original red logo has national significance. The red and blue divides equally in the middle to denote equilibrium.

Alliance

In August 2011, Malaysia Airlines has agreed to make alliance with AirAsia by share swap.[34]

Destinations

A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 747-400 landing in London Heathrow

Malaysia Airlines, along with Air France, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, Emirates Airlines, Korean Air, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, and United Airlines, is one of the few airlines that fly to all six inhabited continents.

Before the introduction of the Business Turnaround Plan, Malaysia Airlines operated 118 domestic routes within Malaysia and 114 international routes across six continents.[21] Malaysia Airlines now flies to 87 destinations across six continents from its primary hub in Kuala Lumpur. It has a particularly strong presence in the Southeast Asia region, which, together with its subsidiary MASWings and Firefly, connects Kuala Lumpur to the most destinations in Borneo Island. Apart from that, the airline has a key role in the Kangaroo Route, on which the airline provides onward connecting flights from main European gateways to major Australian and New Zealand gateways via Kuala Lumpur International Airport, within 5 hours. Malaysia Airlines also operates transpacific flights from Kuala Lumpur to Los Angeles International Airport via Taipei. Transatlantic flights from Kuala Lumpur to Newark Liberty International Airport via Stockholm-Arlanda Airport ended October 2009 due to poor passenger loads.

Under the Business Turnaround Plan, numerous routes were axed and frequencies reduced. As of September 2007, Malaysia Airlines flies to 88 destinations. In cooperation with code-share partner airlines, the airline serves more than one hundred destinations worldwide. It was the first airline in Southeast Asia to fly to South Africa, following the demise of apartheid, and the only airline in Southeast Asia that serves South America via South Africa. In 2006, it suspended its routes to Manchester, Vienna, Fukuoka, Chengdu, Nagoya, Xi'an, Cairo, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Zürich under its Business Turnaround Plan.

Malaysia Airlines also owns its own charter flight division. Malaysia Airlines' charter flights have flown to destinations around the world, such as Guilin, which was previously one of Malaysia Airlines' scheduled destinations, and Christmas Island. Malaysia Airlines has also been the official airline for the Manchester United Asian Tour[35] It also has a substantial Hajj operation.

Malaysia Airlines has applied for approval to launch 3 weekly Kota Kinabalu – Tokyo Haneda service with Boeing 737-800, effective 15 November 2010. Once receiving regulatory approval, Malaysia Airlines will adjust Tokyo operation. All Kuala Lumpur – Tokyo traffic departs/arrives in Narita, and Kota Kinabalu – Tokyo traffic operates from/to Haneda.

Partnerships and codeshare agreements

Malaysia Airlines has codesharing partnerships with 31 airlines, including four from SkyTeam, two from Oneworld and ten from Star Alliance.[36]

Under the revised Business Transformation Plan unveiled in January 2008, Malaysia Airlines has embarked on a plan to form a network that resembles an alliance without joining an alliance. The airline requested to join the SkyTeam alliance in 2006,[37] but there is still no outcome from the discussions. Malaysia Airlines signed code-share agreements with Alitalia in Italy and China Southern Airlines in China, both of which are members of SkyTeam, in 2007.[38]

Therefore, instead of waiting to join SkyTeam, Malaysia Airlines launched Project MOSAIC together with the new Business Turnaround Plan for the period until 2012. MOSAIC stands for ‘MAS Overall Strategic Alliance Integration Concept’, to reap the maximum value from Malaysia Airlines' present hub-and-spoke network.[30] The MOSAIC Project’s scope includes identifying high-value codeshare partners and Special Pro-Rate Agreement (SPA) partners, increasing agreements with partner airlines, discontinuing non-beneficial codeshare partners and optimising flight connections.

However, the airline has announced at the IATA World Air Transport Summit on June 6, 2011 that it will join the Oneworld alliance, with full integration as a member in 12 – 18 months.

Malaysia Airline’s codeshare partners as of July 2010 are, * indicate as Oneworld.

Fleet

Boeing 747-400 9M-MPB of Malaysia Airlines in the special "Hibiscus" livery, taking off from Runway 34L at Sydney airport
A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-800 at KLIA in November 2010

As of July 2011, Malaysia Airlines operates the following types of aircraft:[39][40]

Aircraft Total Orders/
Options
Passengers Notes
F C Y Total
Airbus A330-200 3 25 42 187 229 Equipped with PTV
Airbus A330-300 9 0 44 250 294 Old config. Portable AVOD in Business class
5 10/10 0 36 247 283 New Regional Business and Economy Class, equipped with AVOD[41]
Entry into service: 20 April 2011
Airbus A380-800 6 8 52 443 503[42] Entry into service: 2012[43]
Boeing 737-400 37 0 16 128 144 Exit from service: 2014
Boeing 737-800 8 0 16 150 166 6 aircraft leased from ILFC
6 39/10[44] 0 16 144 160 Replacement of 737-400.
New Short/Medium Haul Business & Economy Class , AVOD for MX* series
Boeing 747-400 10 12 41 306 359 Equipped with AVOD
One to be converted for MASkargo
Boeing 777-200ER 17 0 35 247 282 Equipped with AVOD
MASkargo Fleet
Airbus A330-200F 1 3
Boeing 747-200F 3 0 100,000 kg Leased
Boeing 747-400F 2 0 120,000 kg
Total 101 59/20

Services

Malaysia Airlines operates a fleet of aircraft with two-cabin and three-cabin configurations. The B777-200 fleet has a two-cabin configuration, with Golden Club Class and Economy Class. The Boeing 747-400 fleet has a three-cabin configuration, also including First Class. The Airbus A330-300, A330-200 and Boeing 737-400 aircraft have a two-cabin configuration.

Ground service

Passengers may check-in between 2 and 48 hours prior to flight departure. This may be done at the counter, or at the premium classes' Golden Lounge within the airport. Self-service kiosks (CUSS) are also available at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Alternatively, passengers may check in at KL Sentral City Air Terminal, through the internet or by phone. Online printing of boarding passes is available through internet check-in. Passengers on short trips may also check-in for their return flight upon departure from the city of origin.

Airport lounge

Malaysia Airlines' Golden Lounge

The Golden Lounge is the airport lounge for Malaysia Airlines First Class, Golden Club Class passengers and Enrich Platinum and Enrich Gold members. The clubs all have open bars and food catering. There are 14 lounges throughout the world, and qualified passengers have full reciprocal privileges at lounges operated by selected partners. The lounge offers various services such as business centres, food catering, slumber rooms and child-care centres.[45]

Lounges are maintained at the following airports:

In April 2008, the airline launched its new Regional Golden Lounge at the KL International Airport (KLIA) for regional-bound first and business class passengers.

With this new lounge, Malaysia Airlines at Kuala Lumpur International Airport now has three lounges: the Satellite Lounge, Domestic Lounge and the Regional Lounge.

Cabin

First Class

The newer version of First Class was introduced in 2005, and is only available on the Boeing 747-400, with 12 seats. It features a 180-degree lie-flat seat with a pitch of 80 inches (200 cm) and a width of 28 inches (71 cm) with double drop down arm. The passenger can choose from a variety of positions at the touch of a button.

The long haul Business Class

Business Class

Business Class (previously known as Golden Club Class) is available on all of Malaysia Airlines' fleet. The newer business class, introduced in 2005, can only be found on Boeing 747-400s, which has 41 seats, and the Boeing 777-200, which has 35 seats.

Regional Business Class seats are offered on the Airbus A330 aircraft, featuring reclining seats and footrests. Movies, news and documentaries are available through the Portable Media Player (PMP) for flights of 3 hours and over. A newer generation of regional business class seats is being rolled out to all new deliveries of Airbus A330 for all short-medium-haul routes, such as Perth and Shanghai.[46] Seats made by Recaro within the Business Class cabin of new A330-300 are configured in pairs (2-2-2) layout, fitted with in-seat power and USB port, as well as new Select 3000i on a 15.4 inches touch screen panel. The first Airbus A330-300 carrying the new Regional Business Class was assigned to Kuala Lumpur - Brisbane sector on 20 April 2011.[47]

Economy Class

Economy Class is available on all of Malaysia Airlines' fleet. Seats feature a pitch of 33-34 inches and width of 17-17.25 inches, with footrests (except on B737-400s). On the Airbus A330-200, Boeing 747-400 and Boeing 777-200, it has a 6.5" personal TV located behind each seat, and a footrest located below the seat in front, the A330-300 has no personal TV but overhead TV's located in the aisles of the plane. The Boeing 737-400 has a standard Economy seat. In 2010, Economy Class was voted the World's Best Economy Class at the 2010 World Airline Awards by Skytrax.[48]

Alongside with Malaysia Airline's fleet renewal program, new deliveries of Boeing 737-800 and Airbus A330-300 will feature a new economy class seats. The new economy class seats in both Boeing 737-800 and Airbus A330-300 aircraft are fitted with a 9 inch touch screen personal television. The Weber seats in A330-300 is configured in 2-4-2 layout and has a USB port and in-seat power.

In-flight entertainment

Select is the in-flight entertainment system of Malaysia Airlines. There are three types of Select: Select 3000i, Select 3000i Portable Media Player and Select Mainscreen. However, the Boeing 737-400 does not have Select Mainscreen or either version of Select 3000i, and does not offer audio video on demand.

Select 3000i
All Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER and Boeing 747-400 aircraft are equipped with an Inflight entertainment system, Select 3000i with audio and video in 14 laungages. A touch-screen personal TV is available for First Class and Golden Club Class (Business Class) passengers on board Boeing 747-400 and Boeing 777-200ER aircraft. Malaysia Airlines A330-200 aircraft are fitted with personal television screens at every seat in both economy class and business Class but does not feature Audio Video on Demand in economy class.
New deliveries of Airbus A330-300 and Boeing 737-800 aircraft would carry touch-screen based Select 3000i.
Select 3000i Portable Media Player
Select 3000i Portable Media Player
The Select 3000i Portable Media Player is provided to Malaysia Airlines' Business Class passengers on selected regional and semi-long-haul A330-300 aircraft on North and South Asia routes. It allows passengers a choice of movies, TV shows and sports.[49]
Select Mainscreen
Used in Economy Class on A330-300 widebody regional and semi-long-haul aircraft which features 15-inch dropdown retractable LCD screens are installed at every 4th seat row in the economy class zone of the aircraft.

Malaysia Airlines' inflight magazine is named 'Going Places' and is available both on board, and as a freely downloadable application for Apple's iPad.[50]

Frequent-flyer programs

Malaysia Airlines has two frequent-flyer programs: Grads for Students by Malaysia Airlines (Grads) and Enrich by Malaysia Airlines (Enrich). Grads is a frequent-flyer program with benefits designed for students. Enrich by Malaysia Airlines is a frequent flyer program for frequent travellers that comprises a variety of airlines, banks, credit-card issuers, hotels and retailers around the world.

Enrich by Malaysia Airlines

MalaysiaAirlinesLogo Enrich.png

On 30 September 1987, Malaysian Airline System introduced the Esteemed Traveller frequent-flyer program. In the early 1990s, Malaysia Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Thai Airways International and Singapore Airlines launched their joint Asian frequent-flyer program: Passages. The joint program was officially dissolved in 1999, and the Enrich frequent-flyer program made its debut after the split from Passages.

Enhanced Enrich
On 12 July 2006, Malaysia Airlines introduced its enhanced Enrich frequent-flyer program. The program is now known as Enrich by Malaysia Airlines (Enrich).
Member
Benefits and Tiers[51]
There are four levels of Enrich memberships - Blue, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Each offers various privileges including priority check-in, priority standby and extra baggage allowance, amongst others. Miles can be accrued on qualifying Malaysia Airlines services, as well through partners, including airlines, hotels, car rental agencies and credit-card companies. Miles accrued by members allow for redemption for free travel, free upgrades and other complimentary services.
Partners
Members of Enrich are able to accrue miles on qualifying flights through Enrich Airline Partners such as:[52]

Non-airline partners[54][55] include:

Grads

Grads for Students
GRADS is Malaysia Airlines' frequent-flyer program for students above 12 years old.

Accidents and incidents

There have been two accidents involving passenger fatalities on Malaysia Airlines, with a total of 134 fatalities:

  • 18 December 1983 - Malaysia Airlines Flight MH684, a Airbus A300B4-120 took off from Singapore at 18.53h for a flight to Kuala Lumpur. Approaching Kuala Lumpur, the aircraft was cleared for an ILS runway 15 approach, The landing gear and both engines were torn off and a fire erupted, destroying the cabin and cockpit roof.[56]
  • 15 September 1995 - Malaysia Airlines Flight 2133, a Fokker 50 (9M-MGH) crashed during approach in Tawau, Sabah due to pilot error. 34 people were killed.[57]

Other, non-fatal incidents

  • 18 December 1983 - Malaysia Airlines Flight 684, an Airbus A300B4 (OY-KAA) leased from Scandinavian Airlines crashed 2 km short of the runway in Subang on a flight from Singapore. There were no fatalities, but the aircraft was written-off.[58]
  • 15 March 2000 - Malaysia Airlines Flight 85, an Airbus A330-300 (9M-MKB) was damaged by a chemical called oxalyl chloride, which leaked from canisters when unloading, causing damage to the fuselage when arrived at KLIA from Beijing. The 5-year-old Airbus was sufficiently damaged to be written-off.[59]
  • 30 November 2003 - A cable in a Boeing 777-200ER that allows pilots to turn the plane on the ground had snapped before the Bombay-bound jet was to take off. The incident came just months (2004) after several wires on an Airbus A330-300 bound for Australia were found to have been cut shortly before take-off. Three of the airline's staff were arrested and later released over what a spokesman described as an act of vandalism, not sabotage.[60] The government and police regarded both incidents as sabotage.
  • 1 August 2005 - A Boeing 777-200ER as Malaysia Airlines flight 124 departed Perth for Kuala Lumpur. Climbing through 38,000 feet a faulty accelerometer caused the aircraft's Air Data Inertial Reference Unit (ADIRU) to command changes of altitude. The flight crew overrode the ADIRU and manually returned to land the aircraft at Perth. Subsequent NTSB investigation led the US FAA to issue emergency airworthiness directive 2005-18-51 on the fly-by-wire software.[61]
  • 2 October 2009 - Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-400 (9M-MMR) was substantially damaged when the port main undercarriage collapsed while the aircraft was parked at the gate at Kuching Airport.[62]

See also

Portal icon Malaysia portal
Portal icon Companies portal
Portal icon Aviation portal


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External links


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