Malasyia Airlines could loose one of it's most busiest routes from Kuala Lumper to London for flying Boeing 747-400 on an empty tank, but the airline is denying it.
Here is the story:
Opposition Malaysian politician Lim Kit Siang has urged Malaysian Airlines to sue British newspapers if the allegation that MAS had flown "on empty" over London proved baseless.
Mr Lim, who is secretary-general of the Democratic Action Party, said it was necessary to protect not only MAS' good name but more importantly Malaysia's international reputation of reliability and trustworthiness. "I warn that unless the transport ministry as well as MAS take strong and satisfactory action to deny these allegations, the flying public including Malaysians will avoid using MAS," he said.
Transport Minister Ling Liong Sik told the Malaysian parliament that the allegation that an aircraft of flag carrier Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS) flew into London with "near empty tanks." He said he had received a report from MAS which said the aircraft in question did not belong to the airline. "In the past two months I did not receive any report about an MAS aircraft which had landed in that condition," Dr Ling was quoted as saying by the official Bernama news agency.
Dr Ling said MAS further clarified that all its aircraft adhered to the minimum fuel requirement as set by the aviation watchdog department of civil aviation since 1995. "MAS has sent some senior officials to London to explain the company's fuel policy to British authorities," he said.
The Malaysia Airlines Pilots Association (Mapa) said it wanted to be part of the team which was attempting to identify whether it was the airline's aircraft that was under investigation for allegedly breaching the minimum fuel requirement rule of British aviation authorities.
Mapa president Capt Mohamed Azhar Abdul Aziz said that the association had submitted a request to the MAS management to be included in the team and hoped the company would respond positively to its request. Mapa wanted to be part of the investigation team because it viewed the matter seriously as it could not compromize on the safety of passengers, he told reporters.
Malaysia Airlines (MAS) said May 11 that it will prove to British authorities that its fuel policy was consistent with Malaysian, British and US aviation regulations.
MAS Chairman Tajudin Ramli said that the UK's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), in a letter to the Malaysian Ministry of Transport, accepted there was no breach of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) rules. "We will never compromise on the safety of our passengers and aircraft," Mr Tajudin Ramli said.
"We view with great concern media reports claiming that MAS had landed with low fuel on our flights to London," he added. UK newspapers had speculated that MAS could be banned from British airspace if the authorities found it had breached safety regulations. Such a ban could cost Kuala Lumpur-based MAS one of its most lucrative routes.
MAS said it was to send its chief pilots from its safety and technical departments to meet "immediately" UK transport officials, adding that it will present records and "reaffirm that we have not breached the fuel policy."
Records for the last six months show that the airline's average fuel uplift at departure per flight to London from Kuala Lumpur is about 160 tons, while the average fuel level upon landing is 9.7 tons per aircraft, MAS said. The volume of uplifted fuel "complies with the flight requirements that includes taxi, sector, diversion, holding reserve fuel for about 30 minutes as well as instrument approach and contingency fuel amounting to 2 per cent of total uplift".