Malaysia Airlines mulls adding long-range narrowbody aircraft


Men watch Malaysia Airlines aircraft at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, Malaysia, in this picture taken March 2, 2016. REUTERS/Olivia Harris

DUBLIN: Malaysia Airlines is considering whether to add new long-range narrowbody aircraft to its fleet, outgoing CEO Christoph Mueller said on Wednesday, with details of the expansion plan due to be revealed later this summer.

“We are currently looking into whether we source some long-range narrowbody aircraft,” Mueller told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of the annual International Air Transport Association meeting in Dublin.

Mueller was hired last year to lead a restructuring process at Malaysia Airlines as the carrier tries to recover from the loss of two jets in separate incidents in 2014, but he quit unexpectedly in April and will leave the job in September.

“The progress on the restructuring plan enables us to now think about growth scenarios as of 2018, and how that will be reflected in the strategic fleet plan will be disclosed over the summer,” he said.

The CEO declined to provide further details on which specific aircraft were being considered by the carrier.

“We cannot say, that would affect my negotiations,” he said.

Long-range narrowbody aircraft currently on the market include the Airbus A321neo or the Boeing 737 MAX. Malaysia Airlines narrowbody fleet is currently made up of 56 Boeing 737s, according to fleet-tracking website airfleets.net. - Reuters

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