KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Airlines Bhd has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with AerCap for the lease of six secondhand Airbus A330-200, as replacement for six Boeing 737 that are being returned to lessors.
The A330-200s will be leased for six years from 2018 to 2023 and will mainly be used to up-gauge several high-demand medium haul routes.
The lease is in line with the airline's fleet strategy, which entails a firm order of 25 Boeing 737 aircraft and options on other types of aircraft including both new and used aircraft from Boeing and Airbus.
According to a press release issued Wednesday, the six aircraft have similar features and the same Pratt & Whitney engines as the airline's current A330-300 fleet. It will feature a two class configuration, 287 seats with 19 fully lie flat Business Class seats, brand new IFE on all seats and WiFi.
“As laid out in the MAS Recovery Plan, we are working hard on bringing the airline to a competitive cost position. We also want to rebuild Malaysia Airlines so we can reassume our previous premier position in the industry. The current lease rates are incredibly competitive and we are being opportunistic by leasing them at this point.
“As I have communicated, we have an immediate need for widebodies to offer more lie flat beds in Business Class on our flights over three hours," said Malaysia Airlines CEO Peter Bellew.