Malaysia Airlines says can’t buy eight Boeing Dreamliner planes now

Malaysia Airlines says can’t buy eight Boeing Dreamliner planes now

KUALA LUMPUR,. Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB) is now unable to commit to a provisional deal signed last year to buy eight 787 Dreamliner planes from US aircraft maker Boeing.

Its group chief executive officer Izham Ismail said the reason is because the national carrier can’t ascertain its wide-body plane requirements at the moment, New Straits Times reported today.

“We will only go to Request for Proposal and engage the board depending on our future network plan,” he was quoted saying.

He said MAB’s current aircraft fleet of 81 is sufficient for the airline to service its existing network of 58 destinations, adding that the decision to purchase the aircraft would be based on needs and the company’s financial status.

The provisional deal was made by then prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak during his visit to the United States last year.

Najib had said then that Malaysia Airlines would buy 25 B737 jets and eight 787 Dreamliners from Seattle-based Boeing.

Last Wednesday, MAB said the provisional deal to purchase the eight Dreamliners had lapsed, but that it is in talks with Boeing about the future of its wide-body fleet.

Izham said the Registered Financial Planner would come into play when the airline’s 15 units of wide-body Airbus A330-300 start to age and ends its leasing agreement by 2023.

He added that the new generation wide-body planes must fit into Malaysia Airlines’ future network aspirations.

The airline currently has an all-Airbus wide-body fleet consisting of six Airbus A380, six A350 and 21 A330, besides 48 B737-800.