Malaysia Airlines Flies Harimau Malaya to Dubai and Manama
KLIA, 20 May 2021: Malaysia Airlines, the Official Airline Partner for the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM), is honoured to fly the Harimau Malaya squad to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain to participate in the qualifying matches for World Cup 2022 and Asia Cup 2023, this morning.
The flight departed KLIA at 9.00am carrying 45 players and officials led by FAM President, Datuk Haji Hamidin Haji Mohd Amin and is scheduled to arrive in Dubai at 12.20pm, local time.
To demonstrate the airline’s support towards the national football squad, Group Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia Airlines Berhad, Captain Izham Ismail, sent off the players travelling on charter flight MH8436 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). The casual send-off was conducted with strict adherence to safety and health SOPs to ensure the wellbeing and comfort of all players.
As part of the extended partnership from 2021 until 2023, Malaysia Airlines will be mounting charter flights for all four (4) legs from Kuala Lumpur to Dubai, Dubai to Manama, Manama to Dubai and Dubai to Kuala Lumpur for the qualifying campaign.
This mission has brought upon opportunities for the national carrier to fly to cities outside its usual network, such as Dubai and Manama. For the first three (3) legs, the flight is operated by the B737-800, and the last leg via the airline’s A330-300 painted with special Harimau Malaya livery.
Group Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia Airlines Berhad, Captain Izham Ismail said, "We are proud to be part of history in supporting the Harimau Malaya squad to bring Malaysia’s name to the world stage, in line with our joint commitment to proudly 'Fly Malaysia' across the globe as the nation's flag bearer.
As the Official Airline Partner for FAM, Malaysia Airlines remains committed to offering the highest standards of safety and hygiene every step of the way throughout the flight to ensure the Harimau Malaya squad can fly confidently and be at ease to perform at the matches, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic season."
Also, in celebrating Harimau Malaya squad’s achievement to participate in the qualifying matches for World Cup 2022 and Asia Cup 2023, Enrich, the airline's frequent flyer programme, invites all Harimau Malaya fans to grab the Enrich x FAM Harimau Malaya card featuring the iconic Harimau Malaya logo.
The exclusive card provides special privileges such as member-only contests to watch Harimau Malaya matches, exclusive invitation to selected FAM events, special discount from Enrich partners and more. Not an Enrich member yet? Sign up now to purchase this card on www.malaysiaairlines.com/enrichharimaumalaya and enjoy these exclusive privileges.
The national football squad will be playing two warm-up matches against Kuwait in Dubai and against Bahrain in Manama before starting the last three matches of Group G, Round 2 of the 2022 World Cup/2023 Asian Cup Qualifiers in Dubai against the UAE (June 3, 2021), Vietnam (June 11, 2021) and Thailand (June 15, 2021). The Harimau Malaya team is currently second in the table and is poised to qualify for the Asia Cup and the next round of World Cup qualifying matches.
FAM President, Datuk Haji Hamidin Haji Mohd Amin also expressed his gratitude for the support by Malaysia Airlines to the Harimau Malaya squad on this crucial mission to qualify the team for the third round of the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers, thus automatically qualifying for the finals of the 2023 Asian Cup.
"Malaysia Airlines' commitment and support for the national squad cannot be questioned since the cooperation between the two parties was established in 2018. Through this partnership, Tan Cheng Hoe's squad's journey to Dubai will be more comfortable hence elevating enthusiasm into the national squad players in their game. Moreover, Malaysia Airlines' initiative to paint an Airbus 330 aircraft with the Harimau Malaya livery will surely enliven the winning spirit for both passengers and spectators alike who board or see this aircraft. I would like to thank Captain Izham and his team for their cooperation in ensuring that the Harimau Malaya fulfils the dreams of millions of Malaysians, despite facing various challenges in obtaining flight approvals due to prolonged international border closures. We at FAM have high hopes that the relationship between FAM and Malaysia Airlines can be sustainable and continue in the future," said Datuk Haji Hamidin.