BOEING is in preliminary talks with Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS) on the possibility of supplying the national carrier with new middle-of-the-market (MOM) commercial aircraft.
Officials of the Seattle-based commercial aircraft maker are already talking with officials from MAS and its parent company, Penerbangan Malaysia Bhd (PMB), said Boeing Commercial Aircrafts director of international sales, Paul G. Dubeck.
We see a niche market for this super efficient aircraft which can fulfil MAS needs including serving its new and fast-growing destinations in China.
The timing is also right as MAS is recovering after a restructuring exercise following a takeover plan initiated by the government, Dubeck said.
Last month, MAS was awarded additional 10 landing rights to China, whereby the national carrier could fly to five of the points immediately and the balance could be serviced from 2005.
Dubeck told journalists in Kuala Lumpur that MAS was the first airline outside the United States approached by Boeing to discuss plans to possibly build custom-made aircraft with 200-250 seats, which have a faster turnaround time.
The aircraft, with a non-stop flying range of between 7,000 and 8,000 miles, will incorporate technology from the now-shelved Sonic Cruiser programme. It will be an all-new jetliner that could transport 225 passengers at close to the speed of sound. Bernama
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