Joule
Topic Author
Posts: 157
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MAS Looks At Ultra Long-haul Service

Wed Feb 18, 2004 3:34 pm

From today's local daily 'The Star':

MAS looks at non-stop ultra long-haul service

BY K.P. LEE
IN a change of heart, Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is now studying whether or not to operate ultra-long-haul aircraft to battle fierce competition from rivals like Emirates Airlines and Singapore Airlines (SIA) which are pioneering new, non-stop long-haul services.

Despite expecting decent growth including a double-digit rise in passenger numbers in the next quarter to June, MAS - which does not currently operate the new medium-capacity jets like the Airbus A340-500 that are capable of flying 15,000 km without refuelling - has been left unable to respond to the competition from these airlines, which are cutting travel times by removing en-route stopovers.

MAS managing director Datuk Md Nor Md Yusof said yesterday a strategic call and fundamental decision would be made by the airline's top management on whether that was the flight path it should take. To maintain its market position in the region, MAS was now studying if the non-stop long-haul sector was a critical event in which to compete, he said.

So far this year, Emirates has already launched the first non-stop service between Dubai and Sydney while SIA has started the world's longest non-stop service between Singapore and Los Angeles, both using the A340-500. Later this year, SIA will begin plying an even longer route by flying between Singapore and New York via the North Pole.

Such non-stop flights are much favoured by business travellers who are willing to pay top dollars for the service and thereby provide airlines with their much-needed high yield traffic.

Md Nor said the dynamics of the new competition had made MAS re-look at the long-haul market that could see new non-stop services across the Pacific from Kuala Lumpur.

However, he acknowledged that passenger reaction to spending over 18 hours aloft must also be studied carefully. "The jury is still out on what the tolerance level is for passengers," he said.

The national carrier's short- to medium-term outlook, nevertheless, appears to be bright. MAS senior manager (network and revenue management) Paul A. Mooney said the airline was expecting double digit-growth in passenger numbers with the start of the northern summer schedule in April.

"Things are already looking up? We had very good bookings in the month of January," he said.

In the most recent figures published by the International Air Transport Association, demand for air transport both globally and within the Asia-Pacific was found to exceed supply.

In anticipation of traffic growth, MAS has so far this year leased two Airbus A330 aircraft for use on Asian routes, with a third to be added in March and a fourth in April.

According to Mooney, passenger seat factor was close to 75% in January compared with 69.9% in the airline's fiscal third quarter ended December 2003.

Recent traffic figures were also encouraging. The overall load factor in the third quarter was 70.5%, up from 68% in the corresponding period the year before.

The number of passengers flown on international routes in the third quarter was 1.974 million, up from 1.863 million in the second quarter. However, the number flown on domestic flights fell slightly to 2.136 million from 2.155 million in the face of increasing competition from low-cost carrier AirAsia.

Capacity in terms of available seat kilometres (ASK) for international flights grew to 12,834 million for the third quarter from 12,156 million in the preceding quarter, while domestic capacity rose to 1,635 million from 1,531 million.


Interesting turn of events. Looks like there's still hope for the A340-500 or 777-200LR in MH livery. Now it's up to the new MD/CEO to look into it.




 
odie
Posts: 1581
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2001 8:55 am

RE: MAS Looks At Ultra Long-haul Service

Thu Feb 19, 2004 6:48 am

I know MH was interested in KUL-NYC nonstop flights some time ago, but I am not too sure if they are still keen on this idea. I doubt there are enough traffic between these two cities to justify a nonstop, but, if they are planning to attract traffic between America/Canada and Malaysia or between NYC and SE Asia, then they could offer a nonstop service between KUL and NYC.

Also, does anybody know the business plan for FY 2005? They had a meeting in Langkawi last week regarding their new business plan.

Edited: Does anybody know if MH is planning to fly into SFO or increase their flights into EWR/LAX anytime soon? They announced that they intend to fly 6 times weekly into EWR and launch new flights to SFO and possibly BOS and ORD some time back.

[Edited 2004-02-18 23:02:28]
 
ConcordeBoy
Posts: 16852
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2001 8:04 am

RE: MAS Looks At Ultra Long-haul Service

Thu Feb 19, 2004 7:38 am

If it happens, this should be a good one... the A345 and 772LR will be quite evenly paired in this battle.


A345 advantages:
  • it's cheaper
  • it's got a high level of commonality with MH's A330s
  • it may be more readily available

    772LR advantages:
  • it'll be faster
  • it'll haul greater payload
  • it'll have longer range
  • it'll be lighter
  • it'll have a high degree of commonality with MH's other 772s
  • Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
     
    scottysair
    Posts: 6442
    Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2000 4:07 pm

    RE: MAS Looks At Ultra Long-haul Service

    Thu Feb 19, 2004 8:41 am

    My guess that would likely use with their new A345 aircraft and it is faster plane of the world. This is very good new airplanes of A345 with EK, SQ, & AC.
     
    scotron11
    Posts: 1181
    Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 4:54 pm

    RE: MAS Looks At Ultra Long-haul Service

    Thu Feb 19, 2004 8:45 am

    Does anyone know the savings to airlines by eliminating enroute stops? How much is SQ saving on their SIN-LAX and later their SIN-EWR? Cheers!
     
    QF744
    Posts: 327
    Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 3:05 pm

    RE: MAS Looks At Ultra Long-haul Service

    Thu Feb 19, 2004 8:51 am

    how does the 744ER compare in terms of range etc?
    IT'S ALL ABOUT THE UPPER DECK
     
    ConcordeBoy
    Posts: 16852
    Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2001 8:04 am

    RE: MAS Looks At Ultra Long-haul Service

    Thu Feb 19, 2004 8:53 am

    744 doesnt compare at all.

    It still had shorter range than the 772ER, which was the longest-legged of the commercial airliners before C-market metal entered service.
    Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
     
    Airbus Lover
    Posts: 3163
    Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2000 10:29 pm

    RE: MAS Looks At Ultra Long-haul Service

    Thu Feb 19, 2004 9:05 am

    A345 vs B772LR

    Commonality wise:

    • Engines: A345s has Trents that MH's B772s are currently powered by

    • Cockpit/crew training: Both B772LR and A345s only needs minor crew familiarization

    • Maintenance and Engineering: A345 with their A330s and B772LR with B772ERs


    So it seems that commonality is no problem except that the GE90 would be adding a new engine type into the fleet so one drawback for B772LR. I think now it is a matter of who can give MH a sweeter deal (that is IF they decide to pursue the ultra long haul market) and perhaps which a/c is available sooner.

    Personally I doubt there will be as much demand for nonstop from KUL as SIN. Not only does SQ have more connection feed, they have a lot of business O&D traffic for their SQ19/20 services that MH may be lacking! SQ has 2x daily into LAX while MH only has 5x weekly now compared to 7x before SARS.

    So I doubt there is enough demand. O&D is small so we have to rely on connection for such flights and even so I think the current 5x weekly LAX servies would be better off being upgraded to daily again and maybe A380s in the future. I simply can't think of which ultra long haul route that would bring profit to MAS. Perhaps later on when we expand to a level where connection traffic is enough..
     
    AA787
    Posts: 517
    Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 7:46 am

    RE: MAS Looks At Ultra Long-haul Service

    Thu Feb 19, 2004 10:33 am

    I think MH would probably prefer a slightly different product than rivals SQ and TG. There may still be hope for the 772LR in this scenario.

    AA787
    ET In NYC
     
    MAS777
    Posts: 2757
    Joined: Sun Jul 11, 1999 7:40 am

    RE: MAS Looks At Ultra Long-haul Service

    Thu Feb 19, 2004 11:16 pm

    I don't think MH will really head in this direction for the reasons mentioned above - SQ has a different market to MH.

    Whilst, it is true that MAS is studying the possibility of competing with SQ in this market - I think most large airlines around the world are also pondering this same question. MAS should stick to its current plan and boost its LAX and EWR services to pre-SARS level before it plows money into a rather small niche market.

    Personally, much that I love flying - I can't see myself trying SQ's new routes since I think 14 hours in a tin can is long enough for one stretch (or rather 'sitting') and besides - I love stopovers... something I really miss since the advent of the current long-range aircraft!!!
     
    mas a330
    Posts: 1476
    Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2000 11:12 pm

    RE: MAS Looks At Ultra Long-haul Service

    Thu Feb 19, 2004 11:30 pm

    I agree completely with Mas777. Even when I flew MH to LAX in Golden Club, I got super bored on the last few hours. I cant imagine doing 17 - 18 hours nonstop, even in business!
     
    Triple Seven
    Posts: 518
    Joined: Fri Apr 07, 2000 10:04 pm

    RE: MAS Looks At Ultra Long-haul Service

    Fri Feb 20, 2004 12:57 am

    This is not the first time MAS looked into ultra long haul aircraft. Back before the financial crisis of 1997 MAS was the main principal behind the push for Boeing to commit to the 777-200X (now -200LR). An agreement was signed between MAS and Boeing (1996) that MAS was to be the launch customer and that 15 would be purchased with many more options. If I recall seating arrangement was for 301 seats in two classes.

    Interesting facts to note: In 1996 MAS also signed an order for 10 747-600X and 5 747-500X. Boeing did not considered this a launch order because they wanted UA, CX, or SQ to take the lead.

    [Edited 2004-02-19 17:05:47]
     
    anxebla
    Posts: 1696
    Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2003 8:31 am

    RE: MAS Looks At Ultra Long-haul Service

    Fri Feb 20, 2004 1:15 am

    Yes,18 hours non-stop.....is too much  Nuts
    If a flight MAD-SCL non-stop (13h.40 minutes in IB or LanChile) is very boring you can think what can be a "18"
    Airlines can saving cost with non-stop services.But the pax's suggestions must
    be important for carriers.
    AIRBUS 320 The world's most advanced single-aisle aircraft
     
    ConcordeBoy
    Posts: 16852
    Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2001 8:04 am

    RE: MAS Looks At Ultra Long-haul Service

    Fri Feb 20, 2004 6:08 am

    This aircraft still holds the record for longest nonstop flight ever performed by a commercial airliner.... rather surprised Airbus never attempted to break it with the yucky A345.

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    Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
     
    Triple Seven
    Posts: 518
    Joined: Fri Apr 07, 2000 10:04 pm

    RE: MAS Looks At Ultra Long-haul Service

    Fri Feb 20, 2004 7:29 am

    ConcordeBoy,

    Actually an A340 holds the round the world speed record east-bound while
    the MAS Super Ranger holds the west-bound record.
     
    MAS777
    Posts: 2757
    Joined: Sun Jul 11, 1999 7:40 am

    RE: MAS Looks At Ultra Long-haul Service

    Fri Feb 20, 2004 7:56 am

    Triple Seven - note your record is different to the one mentioned by ConcordeBoy...
     
    Joule
    Topic Author
    Posts: 157
    Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 11:09 pm

    RE: MAS Looks At Ultra Long-haul Service

    Fri Feb 20, 2004 9:27 am

    Yes MH did sign a letter of intent for the 777-200X back then but Boeing didn't consider MH to be a 'blue chip' airline or something like that and wanted the bigger airlines as mentioned by Triple Seven.

    Also, there was a huge rumor about MH buying 16 A340-500/-600s and 45 A320s during the Asian Aerospace in 2000 but that died down as quickly as it appeared.

    The current management has done well to turn around the airline and the MH chief mentioned last week that MH is now an "international carrier with regional dominance", referring to the rapid expansion in East Asia.

    Nevertheless the long haul services need to be under continuous watch so MH does not get left behind.
     
    Motorhussy
    Posts: 3223
    Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2000 7:49 am

    RE: MAS Looks At Ultra Long-haul Service

    Fri Feb 20, 2004 10:07 pm

    ConcordeBoy

    A345 advantages:
    * it's cheaper
    * it's got a high level of commonality with MH's A330s
    * it may be more readily available

    772LR advantages:
    * it'll be faster
    * it'll haul greater payload
    * it'll have longer range
    * it'll be lighter
    * it'll have a high degree of commonality with MH's other 772s


    Question: Where do you get the * it'll haul greater payload stat's from? And how is this qualified? As far as I can glean, the A345 has this advantage.

    Regards
    MH
    come visit the south pacific
     
    greaser
    Posts: 1040
    Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2004 5:55 pm

    RE: MAS Looks At Ultra Long-haul Service

    Fri Feb 20, 2004 10:35 pm

    Given MH's rather late long range proposal, i suggest a hold on aircraft orders till the 777-200LR, wait and see how it performs!!
    Then we talk,only 2 years away!
    im still hoping they get a 737-800 just for fun!
    Now you're really flying
     
    mas a330
    Posts: 1476
    Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2000 11:12 pm

    RE: MAS Looks At Ultra Long-haul Service

    Sat Feb 21, 2004 12:12 am

    im still hoping they get a 737-800 just for fun!

    LOL!  Laugh out loud
     
    ConcordeBoy
    Posts: 16852
    Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2001 8:04 am

    RE: MAS Looks At Ultra Long-haul Service

    Sat Feb 21, 2004 12:22 am

    As far as I can glean, the A345 has this advantage.

    Probably because you're seeing the A340's greater MTOW, but forgetting that it weighs a hell of a lot more both totally and proportionally.  Big grin
    Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
     
    Triple Seven
    Posts: 518
    Joined: Fri Apr 07, 2000 10:04 pm

    RE: MAS Looks At Ultra Long-haul Service

    Sat Feb 21, 2004 1:41 am

    Also, there was a huge rumour about MH buying 16 A340-500/-600s and 45 A320s during the Asian Aerospace in 2000 but that died down as quickly as it appeared.

    Actually they were going Airbus at one time. The competition was for 15 ultra long haul aircraft (777-200X/A345) and 63 short haul narrow body (737NG/A32X). Airbus was the front runner. Time and management has changed.....perhaps giving Boeing a good shot at a future order.

    I hope to see Triple Sevens and 737NGs instead  Smile

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