KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 15): Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG), the parent company of Malaysia Airlines, has selected the Airbus A330neo aircraft as part of the flag carrier’s medium-haul fleet renewal programme.
Powered by the latest Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, the 20 A330neo planes will join the carrier’s fleet of six long range A350-900s and gradually replace its 21 A330ceo aircraft, MAG said in a statement.
Malaysia Airlines will operate the A330neo aircraft on its network covering Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East, said MAG, adding that the carrier will configure the A330neo fleet with a premium layout seating 300 passengers in two classes.
MAG made the announcement at an event in the capital, attended by its chief executive officer Izham Ismail and Airbus chief commercial officer and head of international Christian Scherer.
The group on Monday (Aug 15) signed memorandums of understanding for the purchase of 10 A330neo aircraft from Airbus and the lease of another 10 from Dublin-based Avolon.
Airbus and MAG also signed a letter of intent to study a wider collaboration in the areas of sustainability, training, maintenance and airspace management.
Scherer said the decision by MAG is a clear endorsement of the A330neo as the most efficient option in this size category for premium operations.
"Malaysia Airlines is one of the great Asian carriers and we are proud and humbled to be its preferred supplier of widebody aircraft. It's also the clear winner in terms of in-flight comfort and we are looking forward to working with Malaysia Airlines to define an exceptional cabin,” he said.
Izham, meanwhile, said the acquisition of the A330neo is a natural transition from the group’s current A330ceo fleet.
“The A330neo will not only provide fleet modernisation and enhanced operational efficiency, but will also meet environmental targets through reduced fuel-burn per seat, while keeping passenger safety and comfort at its core.
“This is a significant milestone as MAG moves towards the successful execution of our Long-Term Business Plan 2.0 to position itself as a leading aviation services group within the region,” he said.
As at the end of July, the A330neo has received more than 270 firm orders from over 20 customers worldwide.
The A330neo, a new generation version of the popular A330 widebody, incorporates the latest generation engines, a new wing and a range of aerodynamic innovations.
The aircraft also offers up to 25% reduction in fuel consumption and emissions and is capable of flying 7,200nm/13,300km non-stop.