I just received my copy of the MAS schedule dated 31 OCT 1999- 24 MAR 2000 and here is where the A330s are deployed,
BWN-Bandar Seri Begawan
(BEY-Beirut-they used to earlier)
BNE-Brisbane-(Equipment varies it states but I do remember them going there)
HKG-Hong Kong-(again it states equipment varies-this is a frequently seen equipment notation in the MAS schedule I might add for all aircraft and on many-many routes)
MEL-?Melbourne? It says EQV so it could be the 330/777/744
SIN-?Singapore? Another EQV equipment at certain peak times of day
SUB-?Surabaya? Another EQV category but during a mid morning departure
SYD-?Sydney? Another EQV category
TPE-Taipei (I've seen them there, look marvelous (Grin)
I've flown MAS and enjoy them very much, their service is excellent. Comparable in many ways to SIA.
As for any 'problems' with the A330, it appears to me they are flying them mostly on regional to long routes with some much longer hauls thrown in.
If they are such a 'plagued airplane' as some would rhetoricize, then other carriers like Cathay, DragonAir, Garuda, Thai, Aer Lingus, and many others would -never fly them-. Their cargo capacity is truly awesome and if effectively used can earn these planes exceptional profit, along with their capacious passenger abilities. If planned with the right route structure and network, the A330s can pay for themselves flying just cargo only, with passengers as pure gravy on top. My connection at Air Canada has stated such and I believe them. I've read this point stated by other carriers also.
MAS's A330 are PW powered, as are Thai's, And both serve regional to long routes in a similar fashion, what's the huge difference with MAS versus Thai? I havent heard a peep from Thai. That's why I veiw these problems with a large meteorite sized 'grain of salt' (LOL!)
Any aircraft needs effective planning and route management, this I think could be a factor in any sort of 'problems', and I cant resist the feeling that some of the 'problems' could be used in some ways to secure something in return for those CDG routes? Who knows? We saw some quid-pro-quo for the Open Skies signed with Malaysia and the US didnt we? Of course we did.
I expect this rumored A345/A32X order/re-equipment to happen, although anything can happen. MAS has had range problems with other aircraft in it's route structure (early 777 deliveries) but did not receive notice or attention like that paid to the A330, I think that in parcel could be due to the extensive restructure of MAS Boeing deliveries that were required and negotiated during the Asian Crisis as well. It was reported in Air International and I remember seeing one of the major US Airliner enthusiast magazines ACAR and/or World Airline Fleets News reporting same. I remember it -clear as day-.
It was also reflected in the MAS 1998-99 schedules. I had the a few of these schedules and sure enough, 777s summer routing DXB-EWR, same route in winter using 747-400s. Reasoning that was stated in these periodicals being "headwinds" were just 'too much' on the initial 777s in service. The 747-400s were flown in it's place.
This route is now with 777s 'year round' but I also note the route is marketed as the "777 SuperRanger" service, which it was not before. And given the nature of MAS's schedule to have the "Equipment Varies" moniker. I question if this applies to their EWR route? I question if the 777s now used on this routing are new build 777-2H6ERs or possibly modified early 777-2H6ER models? I'd love to find that out.
I got into this somewhat heated discussion on one of the airliner order boards when one of the members challenged me and disbelieved everything I said on this, attempted to become some sort of indictment of Virgin's A340 'problems' out of NRT to London (which had nothing to do with this whatsoever) and then (Gasp) became quite condescending and insulting. (Grin) Oh well, too bad, it happened, sources out there prove it, find them and you'll see. No point continuing.
Anyhow, I left out several Malaysia destinations that had mostly 737 routes with EQV notations listed, so there could be many more destinations served within Malaysia using the A330.
You can add Europe to their service area when you look at their IST service. (G) So they serve MAS far and wide. I've seen them at Taipei, Taiwan parked next to us after we arrived from LAX. Their 737-400s serve Kaohsiung to Kota Kinabalu-KUL. I've heard the 734s used on many of these regional routes arent that well liked by the passengers for various reasons. If this is the case then there may be impetus for a narrowbody fleet replacement. It would be interesting to see that happen.