PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia Airlines will be acquiring new aircraft – the A330neo – for its wide-body fleet programme.

The initial agreements will cover the acquisition of 20 aircraft, with 10 to be purchased from Airbus and another 10 to be leased from Dublin-based Avolon.

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Announcing this, Malaysia Aviation Group chief executive officer Capt Izham Ismail described acquisition of the A330neo as a natural transition from its current A330ceo fleet.

“The 330neo will not only provide modernisation and enhanced operational efficiency, but will also meet environmental targets through reduced fuel-burn per seat, while keeping passenger safety and comfort at its core.

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“This is a significant milestone as MAG moves towards the successful execution of our long-term business plan 2.0 to position itself as a leading aviation services group within the region,” he said on Monday (Aug 15) following the inking of a memorandum of understanding between MAG, Airbus, Rolls Royce, and Avalon witnessed by Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

Airbus chief commercial officer Christian Scherer described Malaysia Airlines as one of the great Asian carriers “and we are proud to be its preferred supplier of wide-body aircraft”.

In his speech, Dr Wee said the government was supportive towards MAG’s long-term investment to secure one of the best modern aircraft into service.

“This is not only relevant to refresh the airline’s ageing fleet to stay competitive, provide comfort and convenience, but also aligns with our shared commitment towards sustainable aviation in Malaysia to support the broader decarbonisation efforts and meet global targets,” he said.

He said the government was also encouraged with MAG’s fleet renewal as a key lever in its broader sustainability strategy, including being the pioneer in the use of sustainable aviation fuel in Malaysia.

“These efforts are in line with Malaysia’s pursuit of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s global market-based measures, where we recognise the importance of environmental sustainability,” he added.

Dr Wee said Malaysia was committed towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 in accordance with the Paris Agreement towards reducing carbon emissions by 45% by 2030.

He said the regulator for air traffic control Malaysia will be launching a shortened standard instrument departure and standard terminal arrivals for the Kuala Lumpur International Airport as part of efforts to reduce carbon footprint and enhanced efficiency as air navigation service provider.

“This will significantly benefit the industry in terms of shorter flight plans for departure and arrival into KLIA, translating into direct savings of fuel, time, and carbon footprint,” he said.

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