Malaysia Airlines is poised to announce a deal next Monday to acquire 20 Airbus A330neo widebody jets, industry sources said on Wednesday (10 August), according to Reuters. Chief Executive Izham Ismail said in June the airline was nearing a decision on replacing its earlier-model A330 fleet, and Reuters last month reported that the upgraded A330neo had been selected as the preferred model.
The deal to replace 15 A330-300s and six A330-200s is likely to involve leasing around half of the upgraded A330neo planes and purchasing the rest directly from Airbus, said two of the sources, who were not authorised to speak publicly, Reuters reported. Malaysia Airlines and Airbus declined to comment.
Malaysia Airlines has Airbus A330s and A350s in its long-range fleet and had placed a provisional order for competing Boeing 787s in 2017, but let the deal lapse. The fleet upgrade comes amid signs of a pick-up in demand for wide-body jets after a lengthy downturn.
On 21 July Malaysia Airlines unveiled the much-awaited and needed newly refreshed Boeing 737-800NG aircraft, its regional workhorse. The retrofit measure could arguably be a controversial one, as this latest move will see the removal of PTVs or Personal TV screens. Instead, passengers will be treated by high-speed Wi-Fi, with its new in-flight entertainment – MHstudio, and the refurbished interior will pay tribute to Malaysian culture and identity. The new seating will be lighter and eco-friendlier than their predecessor.