MAG to get 12 new aircraft this year

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Aviation Group Bhd (MAG), as part of its ongoing fleet modernisation plan, is set to induct 12 new aircraft in 2024 including its first Airbus 330-900 (A330neo), which is scheduled to arrive in the third quarter (3Q) of this year.

In a statement yesterday, the group said it is looking to receive four A330neo this year, alongside eight of the Boeing 737-8 aircraft to support its network growth requirements. The A330neo will comprise 297 seats (28 in business class and 269 in economy class, of which 24 seats come with extra legroom).

MAG group managing director Datuk Captain Izham Ismail said the expansion is not just about increasing its inventory in numbers, but also introducing the first-of-its-kind cabin class, new seats and experiences that prioritises customer safety, comfort and overall satisfaction.

“We are excited to induct the first of 20 Airbus A330neo’s in 3Q of this year, which will gradually replace our A330ceo fleet and operate to our network across Asia, Oceania and the Middle East.

“We will continue to channel our investments into endeavours that strategically align with the key pillars driving our customer value proposition, namely, cabin comfort, in-flight dining and service delivery of our esteemed cabin crew.

“We aspire to curate an overall passenger experience that not only meets premium standards but exceeds them, underpinned by our inimitable Malaysian hospitality,” he said.

To further strengthen its fleet modernisation programme, MAG will also be retrofitting six of its A350-900s beginning 2026 to ensure consistent cabin standardisation and premium experiences for its guests, in alignment with the new A330neo cabin.

MAG had inked a memorandum of understanding with Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Avolon back in August 2022 for the acquisition of 20 A330neo aircraft which are scheduled to be delivered through to 2028.

A total of 10 of the aircraft are directly purchased from Airbus with a back-to-back sale and leaseback arrangement with Avolon, while the remaining 10 are leased directly from Avolon.

“The acquisition underscores the group’s steadfast commitment as it seeks to provide modernity and elevate the standards of its service offerings, while ensuring that it can support the post Covid-19 pandemic growth of the aviation industry,” the company said.

The A330neo also allows MAG to address environmental targets by offering up to 25% reduction in fuel consumption and emissions, apart from providing improved operational efficiency to the MAG fleet.

With a one-two-one configuration, the newly designed Collins Aerospace Elevation Business Class seats will be a first for the group, featuring an all-suite cabin with individual privacy doors that prioritises cabin comfort and practicality.

“The seat covers will feature the signature songket motif, a homage to Malaysia’s cultural heritage seamlessly infused with a modern touch, creating a harmonious blend of tradition and contemporary style,” the company said.

MAG said the aircraft will also be fitted with Wi-Fi connectivity, ensuring that passengers can experience a practical cabin space onboard Malaysian hospitality.

MAG currently owns a fleet size of 104 through its subsidiaries Malaysia Airlines, Firefly, MASwings and MASkargo.

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