Malaysian Airlines A330-900neo selection propels order tally towards critical 300 units
European airframer Airbus and Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG), parent company of Malaysia Airlines, have announced a firm order for 20 A330neos, giving critical lift to the slow-selling model.
The initial agreements is for twenty A330-900 aircraft, with 10 to be purchased from Airbus and 10 to be leased from Dublin-based Avolon.The order was announced in Kuala Lumpur at the signing ceremony for the purchase MoU by MAG ceo Izham Ismail and Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International Sales Christian Scherer. The agreements with engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce and Avolon were also signed at the ceremony. MAG’s choice also vindicates Airbus positioning of the -neo as a replacement option for the A330 ceo. Powered by the latest Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, the A330neo will be a replacement aircraft for MAG’s fleet of 21 A330ceo aircraft. The carrier intends to use the aircraft on its Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East network. Malaysia Airlines will configure its A330neo fleet with a premium layout seating 300 passengers in two classes.“The acquisition of the A330neo is a natural transition from our current A330ceo fleet. The A330neo will not only provide fleet modernisation and enhanced operational efficiency, but will also meet environmental targets through reduced fuel-burn per seat, while keeping passenger safety and comfort at its core. This is a significant milestone as MAG moves towards the successful execution of our Long-Term Business Plan 2.0 to position itself as a leading aviation services Group within the region,” Izham Ismail said.
In addition to the purchase, Airbus and MAG also signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for collaboration in the areas of sustainability, training, maintenance and airspace management.Christian Scherer said: “Malaysia Airlines is one of the great Asian carriers and we are proud and humbled to be its preferred supplier of widebody aircraft. The decision is a clear endorsement of the A330neo as the most efficient option in this size category for premium operations. It’s also the clear winner in terms of in-flight comfort and we are looking forward to working with Malaysia Airlines to define an exceptional cabin experience.” The latest selection takes the type’s order tally to 293 units. Airbus has so far delivered 73 A330-900 neos from an orderbook that now stands 282 and four -800’a from an orderbook of 11 units. Coming in two iterations, the A330neo promises a 25pc reduction in fuelburn and CO2-emissions over current aircraft in its class. The A330-900, the larger of the two versions is capable of flying 7,200nm / 13,300km non-stop while its smaller sibling the -800 which has been bought by Uganda Airlines can fly non-stop for 15,000 kilometres. The A330neo had accumulated more than 270 firm orders from 20 customers at the end of July.