Malaysia Airlines operates rescue flights for stranded Dutch nationals
KLIA, 3 April 2020: Malaysia Airlines deployed two rescue flights yesterday, 2 April 2020, to ferry Dutch nationals stranded in Nepal and the Philippines back home.
In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, both countries have instituted stringent entry and movement restrictions. Nepal has barred the arrival and departure of all international flights to the nation till 12 April 2020. In the Philippines, they have instituted a travel ban on all foreign nationals to enter or transit through the Philippines.
Sponsored by the Government of the Netherlands, Malaysia Airlines has been operating chartered rescue flights to Kuala Lumpur for Dutch nationals. Once in KLIA, they will board a repatriation flight operated by Dutch national carrier KLM that will transport them back home to Amsterdam. There are currently 4 such repatriation flights scheduled on KLM’s behalf.
Flight MH8731 from Kathmandu arrived in KLIA yesterday at 7.00pm, carrying 122 passengers. It was operated by the Boeing 737-800 aircraft with 5 crew onboard. Separately, flight MH8675 from Cebu arrived in KLIA today at 4.05pm, ferrying 54 Dutch nationals, operated by the Boeing 737-800 aircraft with 5 crew onboard. Additionally, Malaysia Airlines also picked up Dutch nationals from various cities in Australia and New Zealand, allowing for them to be repatriated home with more ease and convenience.
Malaysia Airlines Group Chief Executive Officer Captain Izham Ismail said, “In this time of global emergency, we all should come together to help one another, through international cooperation and support. We have a long history with the Netherlands national carrier KLM, from partnering with them to offer flights to Australasia. We hope that this rescue operation runs smoothly, and we are glad to have played an active part in ensuring that everyone can go home to their families.”
On the same day, in association with Wisma Putra, Malaysia Airlines launched a rescue flight into Medan Indonesia. A total of 158 Malaysian citizens were repatriated, with 144 of them being students studying in Medan, Aceh and Sumatera. They arrived in KLIA yesterday aboard MH865 at 5.50pm, operated by the Boeing 737-800 aircraft with 5 crew onboard.
As the national carrier and flagbearer of the nation, Malaysia Airlines is actively involved in the repatriation of Malaysian citizens from all around the globe in this worldwide pandemic. Malaysia Airlines still operates domestic operations to connect Malaysia, despite the drop in demand, with both domestic and international operations running at a minimum level.