Tuesday, June 21, 2011
LE BOURGET (Paris, France) 21st June 2011 : Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has exercised an option to buy an 10 additional Next-Generation 737-800 aircraft from Boeing, in a deal said to be worth over US$800 million (RM 2.43 billion).
The national carrier's latest deal means it has now placed 45 firm orders for the Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
Managing director and chief executive officer Tengku Azmil Zahruddin Raja Abdul Aziz said the carrier decided to exercise the option in order to meet market demand .
"We will focus first on taking the delivery of 35 aircraft up to 2015. The additional 10 will be delivered beyond 2016," he told a news conference after the signing with Boeing at the second day of Paris International Air Show on Tuesday 21st June 2011.
At the signing ceremony, Tengku Azmil represented MAS while Boeing by commercial airplanes vice-president for sales Marlin Dailey.
In 2008, MAS ordered 35 of the Next-Generation 737-800 airplanes, with an option to buy another 20 aircraft. So far, MAS has taken delivery of five 737-800s.
Tengku Azmil said the additional 10 aircraft will support the airline's business transformation strategy.
"Boeing's Next-Generation 737, with its economic advantages, including its unmatched fuel efficiency, is the right airplane to support our business and our customers," he said.
On funding, he said MAS, which currently has low gearing, can use various options such as commercial finance market, Japan leasing market, Exim Bank and Islamic financing.
He said the capital cost will raise with the acquisition of new aircraft but the airline will increase its efficiency and enhance utilisation.
Tengku Azmil said the current 747-800s are used for variety of routes such as domestic short-haul flights and Asean routes.
As the new 747-800s have better range, he said MAS also intends to use the aircraft for some destinations in India and China.
As for the old aircraft, he said they will be phased out, so that by 2015, MAS will have the youngest fleet of aircraft in the region, with an average age of five years.
To another question, he said MAS' subsidiary, Firefly, will start taking over Sibu-Kuala Lumpur route with twice a day flight.
According to Boeing, the 737-800, which can seat from 162 to 189 passengers, is 771kg lighter, can fly 583km farther and 335m higher while carrying 12 more passengers than the competing model.
Malaysia Airlines, with a 64-year history as the national carrier of Malaysia, operates a mixed fleet of short- and long-haul airplanes, including Boeing 747 passenger and freighter, 777, 737-800s and Classic 737 airplanes. The airline flies nearly 45,000 passengers daily to more than 100 destinations worldwide.
Source : NSTP Online 21st June 2011
A nice video inside a Boeing 737-800 flight simulator.