Photo © Rafal Szczypek
Photo © Christian Ettelt
The three aircraft OK-TVC (with winglets), OK-TVD and OK-TVQ will be refurbished into a 2-class configuration and pave the way for MAS to expand further into its main expansion markets of India and China.
From a twice-weekly service to Beijing in the early 1990s - Malaysia Airlines now operates 66 weekly flights to Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, Xiamen, Chengdu, Kunming and Xi’an - with many routes currently enjoying load factors of over 85% at peak seasons. (Of course, MAS also operates into Hong Kong too)
MAS Kargo meanwhile has a developing hub in Hangzhou near Shanghai - with its own direct flights from Europe. The new 737NGs will enable the 120mins ETOPS operations and may also be deployed to Taiwan and Hanoi - as part of its scheduling.
MAS plans to begin flights to Shenyang, Chongqing, Guilin and Shenzhen, whilst over in India, having expanded in Kolkata and Ahmedabad so far, MAS is planning to introduce new flights to Amritsar, Cochin, Trivandrum and Trichy.
Could this lease be a sign that MAS may ultimately order the 737NG for its 737-4H6 replacement - or could it just be an interim measure due to the cockpit commonality it currently offers? (*answers on a postcard please *)
(Lets just get our act into gear for Skyteam next!)