Malaysia Airlines to receive 17 new aircraft in 2013

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Malaysia Airlines (MAS) will receive 17 new aircraft this year as its fleet renewal programme kicks into high gear.

These include 12 Boeing 737-800s, of which one will be delivered every month, four Airbus A330-300s, and by end March, the last of six ordered Airbus A380s.

The carrier ordered 35 737-800s in 2010, followed by 15 A330s in 2011.

MAS announced on 28 February that it narrowed its net loss for 2012 to M$433 million ($140 million), an improvement from the massive M$2.5 billion incurred in 2011.

Total expenditure for the period also dropped by 13% to M$14.1 billion, mainly as a result of reduced capacity and as the carrier took on more fuel-efficient aircraft.

Over the last year, MAS saved M$1.8 billion on maintenance, fuel costs, depreciation expenses and leasing costs, it adds.

"With fuel prices remaining high, MAS' current fleet renewal programme becomes even more significant for operations," says its group chief executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya.

The carrier adds that its refleeting programme is also "essential to maintaining relevance in the competitive premium service market".

Last year, the Oneworld carrier received 18 new aircraft comprising seven 737-800s, seven A330-300s and four A380s.

Its fleet renewal plan will see deliveries through to 2017.

Going forward, MAS says it remains "cautiously optimistic" of the challenging operating environment where there will be increasing demand from emerging markets, but competition from low-cost carriers will put pressure on yields.

"In addition, rising fuel costs, demand shocks and seat over-capacity continue to bring challenges," it adds.

Data from Flightglobal Pro shows that MAS operates a fleet of 113 aircraft and has another 34 on order.