Malaysia Airlines operates rescue flight to Australia
KLIA, 16 May 2020: Following the well-publicized challenges faced by Malaysians stranded in Melbourne, Australia, Malaysia Airlines has operated a rescue flight to bring our people back home.
Flight MH148 departed at 9.16pm on Friday, 15 May following delays to a power failure at Melbourne Airport. The flight carried 143 passengers consisting of Malaysian students, tourists and visitors, and elderly citizens. Operated by the Airbus A330-300 aircraft, the flight arrived at KLIA at 5.49am on Saturday 16 May, allowing passengers to return home to Malaysia for the first time since the Movement Control Order began on the 18th of March 2020.
The flight was surrounded by an aura of excitedness and relief, as many of the passengers finally got their chance to return home after months of uncertainty. Speaking to Foo Tun Xiang, a 20-year-old student pursuing a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne, he felt very relieved and thankful for the chance to return home. “It has been a very uncertain few months, with flights home being few and far between. As soon as I heard about this flight, I made sure that I had the chance to join it and was happy to be on the flight home. I’m thankful for Malaysia Airlines’ support in taking all of us home and hope that future flights like this can be launched to help the rest of the students that have been struggling to make it home in these turbulent times.”
Malaysia Airlines Group Chief Executive Officer Captain Izham Ismail said, “With the current global situation putting many in tough situations, we hope that this rescue flight can help reunite families, the place we should all aspire to be during the continued adversity that we face today. Despite the turbulence of the situation that we as an airline may face at this moment, we remain steadfast in our commitment to proudly uphold our responsibility as Malaysia’s national carrier and are happy to be standing on the front lines and playing a key role in uniting our Malaysian family across the world.”
Malaysia Airlines has responded to the reduction in travel demand by carrying out more passenger-to-cargo flights to various destinations on their network, carrying valuable essential items and supplies being used to combat the virus. On 14th May 2020, the airline operated MH149, carrying 35 tonnes of essential cargo consisting of postal mail and surgical gloves from Kuala Lumpur to Melbourne.