READY TO FLY

MAS says two A350XWB air­craft will start ply­ing KL-Lon­don route in Q1 next year

New Straits Times - - Business - FRAN­CIS DASS SIN­GA­PORE bt@me­di­aprima.com.my

MALAYSIA Air­lines is gear­ing up to in­te­grate into its fleet two Air­bus A350XWB, which are sched­uled for en­try into ser­vice in De­cem­ber. They will ply the Kuala Lumpur-Lon­don route from the first quar­ter of next year.

MALAYSIA Air­lines Bhd (MAS) is gear­ing it­self for the in­te­gra­tion into its fleet two in­com­ing Air­bus A350XWB air­craft in De­cem­ber.

MAS chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Cap­tain Izham Is­mail said the two air­craft, sched­uled for se­quen­tial en­try into ser­vice on De­cem­ber 5 and De­cem­ber 25, re­spec­tively, would ser­vice the Kuala LumpurLon­don-Kuala Lumpur route.

The A350XWB would start ply­ing the Lon­don route in the first quar­ter of next year, he added.

The na­tional car­rier is ex­pected to take de­liv­ery of four more A350XWBs by June next year, but Izham did not fur­nish de­tails as to which routes the ad­di­tional air­craft will be ser­vic­ing dur­ing a visit to the Air­bus fa­cil­ity, here, yes­ter­day.

MAS is train­ing its pilots at the Air­bus Asia Train­ing Cen­tre (AATC), here, ahead of the de­liv­er­ies.

So far, 26 pilots have un­der­gone the train­ing. They are part of a to­tal of 144 pilots iden­ti­fied to un­dergo the A350XWB flight sim­u­la­tion train­ing.

Izham said all 144 pilots were ex­pected to have com­pleted their train­ing by May next year.

MAS chief pi­lot train­ing and flight op­er­a­tions of­fi­cer Cap­tain An­drew Poh Vi Ming said the in­com­ing air­craft would first fly the Kuala Lumpur-Pe­nang and Kuala Lumpur-Bangkok routes for at least a month.

Izham said MAS would take de­liv­ery of the two mid-sized wide­body long-haul air­lin­ers in Toulouse, France, a week be­fore their re­spec­tive en­tries into ser­vice with the na­tional car­rier in Malaysia.

The six new A350XWBs, ac­cord­ing to Izham, “is a leap that MAS is tak­ing to be more ef­fi­cient”, and to turn around the com­pany.

He said the avi­a­tion sec­tor was set to re­main highly com­pet­i­tive.

“The avi­a­tion mar­ket is very un­pre­dictable to­day. Con­sumers are very well-in­formed, av­er­age fare price has be­come very com­pet­i­tive and air­lines will do lots of things to get cus­tomers on­board,” he added.

Malaysia Air­lines Bhd chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Cap­tain Izham Is­mail (left) and Air­bus Asia Train­ing Cen­tre gen­eral man­ager Cap­tain Yann Lardet at the Air­bus Asia Train­ing Cen­tre in Sin­ga­pore yes­ter­day.

Malaysia Air­lines Bhd chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Cap­tain Izham Is­mail at the Air­bus Asia Train­ing Cen­tre in Sin­ga­pore yes­ter­day. He says 144 se­lected pilots will com­plete the A350XWB flight sim­u­la­tion train­ing by May next year.

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