Media statement by Malaysia Airlines on Boeing MoU
KLIA, 21 September 2017: Malaysia Airlines refers to media reports and statements regarding its aircraft fleet plans, including the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Boeing recently.
We would like to reiterate that as of now, we have a firm order of 25 Boeing 737 aircraft with everything else being optional. The options, as well as a variety of other arrangements including the recent MoU with Boeing, will allow us to have some flexibility in deciding which aircraft suits our operational environment best. Malaysia Airlines will continue to carefully evaluate all options available to us to ensure our purchases make both business and operational sense. This is necessary and in line with ongoing prudent fleet management and cost containment efforts across the Group.
Please also note that funding for all aircraft are planned on a sale-and-operating leaseback or simple operational lease.
Firm Orders on Narrowbody Aircraft
Malaysia Airlines currently has 54 aircraft in its fleet of 737-800 with 48 actually operating, as six of these aircraft are being handed back to lessors in December 2017 and are currently going through a lease return maintenance programme. In 2018, we will operate 44 737-800 aircraft daily, with three in maintenance and one available spare. The 48 operating aircraft in the 737-800 fleet start reaching end of lease from early 2019.
In 2016, we made 25 firm orders for the 737-MAX8 aircraft and 25 options. The aircraft were ordered as pure replacements for existing planes, due for replacement beginning 2019 as stated above. The 737 MAX aircraft has been designed to offer customers exceptional performance, flexibility and efficiency, with lower per-seat costs and an extended range that will open up new destinations.
In June 2017, we entered into a new agreement with Boeing to allow us to choose their new larger 737-MAX10 aircraft for 10 out of the previous firm order of 25 737-MAX8. With this agreement, Malaysia Airlines can decide to take either the MAX8 or MAX10. The MAX10 aircraft are expected to commence delivery in early 2021.
Optional orders for Widebody Aircraft
As widely communicated before, Malaysia Airlines has been exploring various options for widebody aircraft, for possible delivery in 2018 and 2019, to address the rapid growth in international sales which requires additional widebody aircraft.
The recent MOU to potentially add eight of the widebody Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft to our fleet from Quarter 3 in 2019 is to add capacity to the airline’s widebody fleet and provide a high level of quality on its most lucrative routes. The 787-9 has one of the longest ranges of any commercial aircraft and can operate non-stop from Kuala Lumpur to any point in Europe as well as key cities on the west coast of the United States. The same aircraft can similarly operate high quality services to Tokyo or flights of up to 17 hours, offering great flexibility for the airline to manage a variety of market opportunities over the next 20 years.
The list price for the eight Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft is some USD$2.5 billion. The airline will negotiate extensively to ensure the best value on confirmation of order.
If the order is confirmed, the initial 787-9 Dreamliner deliveries are planned for operating Asian services. The growth of the Malaysian economy and the increasing globalisation will allow these aircraft to commence new long haul services from 2020 onwards if sufficient profitable demand exists.
The airline is also considering options with either used Airbus A330-200/300 or new Airbus A330neo aircraft for expansion and replacement of existing aircraft.