MALAYSIA AIRLINES (MAS) plans to order 25 new wide body aircraft for delivery between 1998 and the year 2000, including an undisclosed number of additional Boeing 747-400s, says company chairman Tajudin Ramli.

The aircraft are needed to meet growth in air traffic beyond 1998, after which MAS will have no spare capacity, says Tajudin. The aircraft will be a mixture of more 747-400s and smaller long-range jets for lower-density routes.

"There is no final decision yet on the number of 747s," says Tajudin. Local reports, however, indicate that MAS is considering purchasing up to ten more 747-400s, together with a similar number of options. MAS operates ten 747-400s and two -400 combis, with another aircraft on order for 1996.

The carrier also asked competing manufacturers to submit proposals earlier this year for between six and ten long-range replacement aircraft for its McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30s (Flight International, 1-7 March, P10).

Types under evaluation include the Boeing 777, Airbus Industrie A340 and McDonnell Douglas MD-11. A final decision is expected before the end of the year.

MAS, in the meantime, has concluded a leasing agreement with International Lease Finance for two additional Airbus A330s from May and July 1996 onwards. Eight A330s are already in service and a further two, are due for delivery before the end of the year.

Source: Flight International