Malaysia Airlines delivers orders boost for Airbus wing-making plant
Aircraft manufacturer, Airbus, has received a further order boost, this time from Malaysia Aviation Group, parent company of Malaysia Airlines.
The group has chosen the A330neo model for its widebody fleet renewal programme. An initial agreement involves the purchase of 20 A330-900 aircraft, with 10 to be acquired from Airbus and 10 leased from Dublin-based Avolon.
Airbus employs almost 5,000 staff at its Broughton plant, near Chester, which makes wings for all its commercial aircraft.
First half results published by Airbus last month revealed that gross commercial aircraft orders had increased to 442 in the six months to June 30, 2022 (H1 2021: 165 aircraft) with net orders of 259 aircraft after cancellations (H1 2021: 38 aircraft). The order backlog amounted to 7,046 commercial aircraft on June 30, 2022.
Malaysia’s announcement was made at an event in Kuala Lumpur, attended by MAG CEO Izham Ismail and Airbus chief commercial officer and head of international, Christian Scherer, who signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the aircraft to be ordered from Airbus.
The agreements, with engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce and Avolon, were also signed at the ceremony.
Powered by the latest Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, the A330neo (new engine option) will join the carrier’s fleet of six long range A350-900s and gradually replace its 21 A330ceo (current engine option) aircraft. The carrier will operate the A330neo on its network covering Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East.
Malaysia Airlines will configure its A330neo fleet with a premium layout seating 300 passengers in two classes.
Izham Ismail said: “The acquisition of the A330neo is a natural transition from our current A330ceo fleet.
“The A330neo will not only provide fleet modernisation and enhanced operational efficiency, but will also meet environmental targets through reduced fuel-burn per seat, while keeping passenger safety and comfort at its core.
“This is a significant milestone as MAG moves towards the successful execution of our long term business plan 2.0 to position itself as a leading aviation services group within the region.”
In addition to the renewal of the widebody fleet, Airbus and MAG also signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to study a wider collaboration in the areas of sustainability, training, maintenance and airspace management.
Christian Scherer said: “Malaysia Airlines is one of the great Asian carriers and we are proud and humbled to be its preferred supplier of widebody aircraft. The decision is a clear endorsement of the A330neo as the most efficient option in this size category for premium operations.
“It’s also the clear winner in terms of in-flight comfort and we are looking forward to working with Malaysia Airlines to define an exceptional cabin experience.”
The A330neo is the new generation version of the popular A330 widebody. Incorporating the latest generation engines, a new wing and a range of aerodynamic innovations, the aircraft offers 25% reduction in fuel consumption and CO2-emissions. The A330-900 is capable of flying 7,200nm/13,300km non-stop.
As at the end of July 2022, the A330neo has received more than 270 firm orders from over 20 customers worldwide.