Here's another article taken from Business Times in Malaysia. According to them, MAS will be taking delivery of another B777 next month, wonder will that be in the new livery!! And 3 more 747s by March 2002. They have another 6 747s and four 777-200s on order. Does anybody knows when will this be delivered? What happen to the initial 777-300s that MAS ordered? Any answers more than welcome!
WITH the additional four weekly flights into Heathrow Airport in London, Malaysia Airlines may no longer need to seek the six slots a week which are being given up by British Airways (BA). Furthermore, getting the BA rights would only serve as a stop-gap measure to fill the vacuum to be left by the British carrier when it suspends operations into Kuala Lumpur from March 31. "The slots will remain BA's, but operated by Malaysia Airlines. It would probably be on a profit-sharing basis. The four additional slots on the other hand are Malaysia Airlines' own," analysts said.
Business Times reported yesterday that the Transport Ministry is believed to have secured approval from the British Government for Malaysia Airlines to mount four more flights a week into Heathrow. In October last year, the Transport Ministry was reported to have been given the green light by the Cabinet to initiate air talks with London for Malaysia Airlines to take over the flights currently mounted by BA.
An analyst said any expansion of capacity on the route by Malaysia Airlines, either on its own or through other airlines' slots, is welcomed, as "negotiations for traffic rights into London are never easy". Another analyst from a foreign research house agreed, saying the additional flights should be good for the airline provided the route's existing high load factor is maintained.
For the financial year ended March 31 2000, the national carrier posted a 72.9 per cent passenger load factor on its Europe, West Asia and Africa services, up 1.3 per cent from a year earlier. The load on the Kuala Lumpur-London sector is consistently "full or almost full". With the new rights, the airline's total number of services into London will rise to 18 a week. It is however not known when the national carrier will start utilizing them. Malaysia Airlines currently operates daily Boeing 747 flights to London under an air services agreement signed by the two governments in 1974. It also offers seven other flights on a code-share basis, together with Britain's Virgin Atlantic. Any increase in the carrier's operating cost on the route as a result of the new flights will be marginal as the basic infrastructure, such as ground handling, is already in place.
Malaysia Airlines is expected to take delivery of a leased Boeing 777 next month and three 747s by March 2002. "These aircraft would likely be deployed on the European routes," the analyst said. As at January 2000, Malaysia Airlines owns 66 Boeing aircraft, 10 Fokker 50s and five DHC6s. It leased six 777-200s, one MD11 freighter, four 737-400s and two 737-500 from foreign parties. In turn, it has leased out six 737-400s and one 737-500. The national carrier has on order six more 747-400s and four 777-200s, plus two options.
Some analysts have meanwhile urged Malaysia Airlines to consider separating its domestic and international operations, and at the same time suspend non-profitable routes. Hiving off the domestic operations would allow it to concentrate on the more lucrative international services, they said. "That should be the first order of the day if the airline is to be a truly global carrier," an analyst said.
Its network comprises 110 destinations across six continents, but the domestic sector is heavily cross-subsidized. "British Airways, Qantas, Lufthansa and All Nippon Airways (ANA) have either dropped Kuala Lumpur or will be doing so shortly. They are doing this because they say the route is not profitable to them. "Malaysia Airlines should be doing the same, seriously study its international routes and suspend those that are non-profitable. By not flying to these (non-profitable) destinations doesn't mean that you lose the right to fly (into these destinations). It can mount flights at a later date when the load justifies it," another analyst said.
At the same time, it is worthwhile looking at how to capitalize on the pullout by the foreign airlines, not just the London sector, but also into Osaka as currently operated by ANA. The new management has an "old hand" in Datuk Bashir Ahmad, the airline's executive vice-president (airlines). He is one person who can provide invaluable advice here, the analyst said.
Since 1998, Malaysia Airlines has suspended flights to Madrid, Macau, Davao and Ujung Pandang in Indonesia. It has also withdrawn Vancouver from the network. On the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange yesterday, its shares shed 4 sen to close at RM3.54