24.07.2023 – 06:32 UTC
The Malaysian government says MASwings (MY, Kota Kinabalu) will continue to receive a MYR209 million ringgit (USD45.8 million) annual subsidy to maintain rural air service (RAS) flights even if it changes hands from Malaysia Aviation Group to the state of Sarawak.
Malaysia’s federal transport minister, Loke Siew Fook, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Sarawak state officials in Kuching on July 20, according to the Free Malaysia Today outlet. Subsidies are in place until 2025, but Fook told media on the day that the MoU included a provision for the subsidies to be re-negotiated and continue past then.
“The MoU signed this afternoon is about our commitment to provide the subsidy to the rural air services in the event that Sarawak takes over MASwings. This MOU is important to give our commitment to Sarawak,” he said. “The most important thing is that rural air services won’t be disrupted. It must go on so that passengers will not be affected.”
The takeover of MASwings has the “in-principle” support of the federal government. The…
12.07.2023 – 09:58 UTC
The Sarawak government has denied reports it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) concerning Sarawak’s proposed takeover of MASwings (MY, Kota Kinabalu). The denial runs counter to widespread reporting in local media.
According to the media reports, Transport Minister Lee Kim Shin met with MAG on July 8, and both parties signed the document, saying that the MoU aims to smooth out the potential takeover process, including setting timelines and establishing ground rules.
But Sarawak Ministry of Transport spokesman Jong Yang told ch-aviation that the reports were incorrect. “The take-over of MASwings by the Sarawak government is still in the preliminary planning stage,” he said via email. “Therefore, no MOU has yet been signed with Malaysian Aviation Group.”
The Malaysian state on the island of Borneo has mounted a concerted campaign over the need for it to have its own passenger airline, citing a lack of connectivity to international destinations and high fares on existing routes. Until recently, the proposal was to establish a new airline from…
30.06.2023 – 02:56 UTC
Malaysia Airlines (MH, Kuala Lumpur International) is gearing up for the next round of its fleet renewal program and planning to order further narrowbody aircraft by the end of 2024, CEO Izham Ismail told media at the recent IATA AGM in Istanbul.
Ismail said the airline aims to issue a Request For Proposal (RFP) in the fourth quarter, which may include some regional jets, and place an order within 12 months. The CEO said he would like to see deliveries start in 2025 but acknowledges backlogs at the manufacturers may delay this.
Malaysia Airlines’ current narrowbody fleet comprises forty-two B737-800s (with a further five placed at subsidiary carrier Firefly (FY, Penang)). In early 2022, in the first stage of the narrowbody fleet renewal program, Malaysia Airlines announced an agreement with Air Lease Corporation to lease twenty-five B737-8s, with deliveries then set to begin in May 2023.
However, ALC is also experiencing some difficulties sticking to its original delivery timelines and has pushed delivery of the first back to…
19.06.2023 – 05:48 UTC
The Sarawak state government has agreed “in-principle” to acquire MASwings (MY, Kota Kinabalu), Sarawak Premier Abang Johari Openg told The Borneo Post. MASwings is a subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines (MH, Kuala Lumpur International), which in turn is wholly owned by the Malaysian government via sovereign wealth fund, Khazanah.
Johari Openg is attempting to set up a Sarawak-based scheduled carrier to improve connectivity in and out of the state and put downward pressure on fares. To date, his proposals have centred on local charter and general aviation business, Hornbill Skyways (Kuching), operating the airline. Kuala Lumpur-based federal politicians, including the prime minister, have voiced support for the plan.
However, according to Johari Openg, the plans have changed. “There is a proposal from the federal government for us (the Sarawak government) to take over MASwings,” he said on June 15. “We have agreed in principle to take over MASwings.”