Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has ordered 15 Airbus A330-300s, with options to purchase another 10, in a total order worth $5 billion.

The aircraft will be delivered from 2011 to 2016, and will serve the South Asia, China, North Asia, Australia and Middle East markets, says MAS.

The A330 will complement the airline's incoming fleet of six A380s and 35 Boeing 737-800s, says MAS managing director and CEO Azmil Zahruddin.

He adds: "The A380 will serve key long haul destinations such as London and Sydney, the A330 for medium haul markets while the 737-800 will be used to strengthen our domestic and regional routes.


MAS expects to receive all its new aircraft by 2016, says Zahruddin.

"Our strategy is to transform from a 100% leased fleet to owning at least a third of the aircraft in our core fleet. We will fund the purchases through a combination of a proposed rights issue and borrowings," he adds.

MAS expects to gain annual savings of 300 million ringgit ($87.4 million) when it receives its 15 A330s, says the airline.

It is ordering the new version of the aircraft, which offers improved cabin comfort and aircraft performance, adds MAS.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news