Malaysia Airlines to acquire 20 A330 neo aircraft

Malaysia Aviation Group has signed memorandums of understanding with Airbus and leasing company Avolon to add 20 A330-900 neos to its fleet.

Ten of the aircraft will come directly from Airbus (under a sale-leaseback agreement with Avolon), while the other ten will be leased directly from the leasing company.

The aircraft – expected to be delivered between 2024 and 2028 – will be configured with 300 seats in a two-class configuration.

This compares to TAP Air Portugal (the A330 neo launch customer) which configures its planes with 298 seats, and Delta (281). Virgin Atlantic is set to launch its first A330 neo this fall, which it has configured with a total of 262 seats, including 30 newly designed upper class suites.

Malaysia Aviation Group said the A330 neos would replace Malaysia Airlines’ A330 CEO and operate on routes to Asia, Oceania and the Middle East.

Commenting on the news, Izham Ismail, Managing Director of MAG Group, said:

“After a thorough technical evaluation and a very competitive process, we are delighted to have reached a strategic agreement with our partners on the renewal of our wide-body fleet through the acquisition of 20 A330 neo.

“The innovative, cost-effective and successful three-party approach provides a holistic solution for fleet owners that is financially viable for MAG, as we secure a lower and stable cost base, and with the assurance of supporting funding.

“The acquisition of the A330 neos is a natural transition from our current fleet of A330 ceos, but the A330 neo will not only modernize our fleet and improve operational efficiency, but also achieve environmental goals by reducing fuel consumption per seat while keeping passengers safety and comfort at its heart.

“This is an important milestone as the group moves towards successfully executing its long-term Business Plan 2.0 to position itself as a leading aviation services group in the region.”

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