Malaysia Airlines operates rescue flights to Phnom Penh and Dhaka
KLIA, 26 March 2020: Malaysia Airlines deployed two rescue flights yesterday, 25 March 2020, to ferry Malaysians stranded in Cambodia and Bangladesh back home.
Both countries have imposed strict travel restrictions to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak locally. Since 21 March, Bangladesh has closed its borders to all commercial flights from Malaysia and a few other nations. Cambodia meanwhile enhanced health screening and entry restrictions with passengers having visited or transited through Italy, Germany, Spain, France, the United States or Iran in the last 14 days are not allowed entry.
Flight MH763 from Phnom Penh arrived in KLIA yesterday at 9.05pm, carrying 150 passengers. It was operated by the Boeing 737-800 aircraft with seven crew onboard. The flight was sponsored by T7 Global Berhad, in collaboration with Wisma Putra. Separately, flight MH197 from Dhaka arrived in KLIA today at 5:55am, ferrying 225 Malaysians. Operated by the Airbus 330-200 with 12 crew, the flight was sponsored by Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) to rescue Malaysians ranging from students to Hospital Medan Malaysia staff in Cox’s Bazar.
All repatriated citizens were put on a mandatory self-quarantine for 14 days as mandated by the Ministry of Health Malaysia.
Malaysia Airlines Group Chief Executive Officer Captain Izham Ismail said, “Despite the many restrictions imposed by countries worldwide, the national carrier has a duty to serve its nation and fellow citizens. We have been working with Wisma Putra and respective Malaysian High Commissions abroad to facilitate these rescue flights and we are especially grateful for the organisations that have come forward to assist this mission. In times of need such as this, we are glad to work with supportive, charitable and conscientious sponsors like Tan Sri Datuk Seri Tan Kean Soon from T7 Global Berhad, who transcend the borders of Corporate Social Responsibility to directly provide benefits to hundreds of our fellow countrymen, as well as MIC, who have done so much to help our Malaysians stranded in Bangladesh and India. We hope many more corporates will come forward to assist a large number of Malaysians especially students abroad who lack the means to return so that together, we can stand against our common enemy, COVID-19.”
As the national carrier and flagbearer of the nation, Malaysia Airlines stands ready to collaborate with the various ministries and organizations who are actively involved in helping our Malaysians looking to come home in this worldwide emergency. “At present, Malaysia Airlines is still maintaining its domestic operations mostly to facilitate essential movement such as delivering much-needed medical supplies and mails, as well ensuring global supply chains are maintained for the most time-sensitive materials including food. Both our domestic and international operations are currently running at minimum level,” added Capt Izham.