PUTRAJAYA: Malindo Air is set to launch its first flight on March 22 following its success in obtaining the air operator certificate (AOC) from the Civil Aviation Department last month.
As a start, the country's second low-cost airline will offer an all-inclusive fare to Kuching starting from RM38 while a trip to Kota Kinabalu begins at RM68.
The airline will be the first in Malaysia to operate the Boeing 737-900ER aeroplanes with a capacity of 180 seats each and capable of serving destinations within a five-and-a-half hour range.
“This is a historical beginning for a brand new airline in Malaysia. With Malindo Air in the market, it will stimulate other airlines to continuously push for better services in order to attract customers,” said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha before presenting the AOC to Malindo Air chief executive officer Chandran Ramamuthy in a ceremony here yesterday.
Malindo adopts the hybrid airline approach, which offers low air fares with passengers having the choice to opt for additional comfort services at a surcharge.
Among the add-ons available on board include a personal television screen at each seat and WiFi service, which is expected to be available by June.
Those flying on economy class are entitled to a free 15kg checked-in baggage allowance while business class travellers get a 30kg allowance.
In terms of human capital, Malindo has absorbed 179 unemployed Malaysians who have been unable to secure a job despite completing their pilot training.
The airline also has its eyes set on securing 12 Boeing 737-900ER aeroplanes by this year, said Chandran.
“With 12 of these aircrafts, we can fly domestic as well as some Asian routes, including India and China, this year. We plan to make Malaysia a transit hub as it has a huge potential in terms of tourism and business traffic, allowing travel via Kuala Lumpur to other places,” said Chandran.
Malindo is a joint venture between Malaysia's National Aerospace Defence Industries (Nadi) Sdn Bhd and Indonesia's largest domestic carrier Lion Air parent PT Lion Group.
The company is based at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
Flight tickets are available for booking via www.malindoair.com.