New Malaysia Airlines to become important regional transit hub airline

Published on : Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Malaysia AirlinesCutting on long-haul flights to the west and focusing more on regional medium routes, the new Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is expected to become a very important transit hub airline for the region.
Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said MAS would have strong advantage as passengers flying to Kuala Lumpur could use it as a transit point to fly to Australia, China, India and South East Asia countries like Indonesia and Thailand.



“MAS can be anchor for transit passengers, flying them into the regional market, especially for full service carriers,” he said after meeting Japan’s Minister for Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Akihiro Ohta in Tokyo, Monday.



Liow said under MAS’ restructuring plan, more focus would be given to medium range routes, adding that the airline could use its membership in One World Alliance to do more transit and code sharing.



“If MAS decides to cut routes in Europe for instance, we will offer them to AirAsia X or Malindo. But the new MAS management will have the final say on which routes to be cut or to be added,” he said.



He said this was one of the reasons Malaysia was seeking landing rights at Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport for MAS, which currently flies 10 times a week from Kuala Lumpur to Narita International Airport, Tokyo, three times from Kota Kinabalu and one to Kanzai Airport in Osaka.



According to him, AirAsia X flies seven times a week to Haneda while MAS had asked the ministry to negotiate landing rights for the past two years but the Japanese side could not accommodate them due to tight slot.

Liow confirmed that All Nippon Airway would commence seven flights a week to Kuala Lumpur in September, while Japan Airlines currently also had similar number of flights.



On reports that more than 8,000 staff of current MAS would be axed once MAS Bhd takes over under the restructuring exercise, Liow said he was informed only 6,000 would be terminated as reported before.


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