Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has ordered two Airbus A330-200 freighters, along with a previously announced order for up to 25 A330-300 passenger widebodies.

It has placed firm orders for two A330-200Fs with options for another two. The first freighter will join the MASKargo fleet in September 2011, says MAS.

The airline signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus in December for firm orders of 15 A330 passenger aircraft, and 10 options. Deliveries of these will begin in the first half of 2011, says the carrier.

"The new freighters will enable us to better serve the intra-Asia route, and offer direct services to Europe from India and Bangladesh. This complements our expansion plans in China, and will strengthen our position as a key niche player in the region," says MAS managing director and CEO Azmil Zahruddin.

MAS A330 body

MASkargo will fly the new freighters on sectors of up to 3,200nm, says the carrier. The aircraft will be able to carry payloads of almost 70t, it adds.

MAS' new A330 passenger aircraft will be configured with 283 seats in a two-class layout, says the airline.

"The A330-300 will become the mainstay of the carrier's medium haul passenger fleet and will be used on services to destinations across the Asia Pacific region, as well as up to the Middle East," says MAS, which already operates 14 A330s.

MAS plans to expand capacity on some routes from 28 March, and will add more flights to its services to Paris, Auckland and Perth. It expects to announce new destinations from the second quarter of this year, it adds.


Source: Air Transport Intelligence news