Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG), the parent company of national carrier Malaysia Airlines, commemorated the arrival of its first Boeing 737-8 aircraft with a launch ceremony held at Hangar 5, MAB Engineering Complex.
The event was graced by Loke Siew Fook, Minister of Transport Malaysia; YM Raja Azmi bin Raja Nazuddin, Chief Operating Officer, Malaysian Aviation Commission; Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin, Group Chairman of MAG, and Datuk Captain Izham Ismail, Group Managing Director of MAG.
The induction of the aircraft type marks the beginning of the gradual expansion plan of MAG’s narrowbody fleet. MAG has an orderbook of 25 737-8 aircraft through its operating lease with Air Lease Corporation (ALC), which will be delivered progressively through to 2026.
The aircraft will embark on its first commercial flight to Kota Kinabalu later today via Malaysia Airlines flight MH2640 departing Kuala Lumpur at 3:40pm local time. The aircraft will service destinations across domestic Malaysia, before expanding to other networks across ASEAN and Asia as more of the aircraft type enters into service.
Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin, Group Chairman of MAG, said, “With the induction of our new Boeing 737-8, it will allow us to enhance customer experience, improve operational and fuel efficiency, and meet our future network growth requirements to support our vision for the national carrier. The inclusion of the 737-8 in our fleet holds more significance than just refreshing our ageing aircraft. It acts as a meaningful bridge, connecting our history with a new era, aligning with our Long-Term Business Plan 2.0 goals as we work towards becoming Asia’s leading travel and aviation services group.”
The 737-8 will feature state-of-the-art wireless in-flight entertainment, showcasing a wide variety of content that is set to elevate the in-flight entertainment paradigm providing passengers with ample choices. Similar to its refreshed Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft, the 737-8 will offer similar seating configurations comprising 12 seats in Business Class and 162 seats in Economy Class. In the pipeline, as part of its broader connectivity strategy, Malaysia Airlines will introduce high-quality internet connectivity, which will mark the first time MAG incorporates this feature into its narrowbody fleet; allowing customers to stay connected throughout their journey.
At today’s event, AeroDarat, the ground handling arm of MAG, showcased its latest ground operation technology adoption by operating the electrical towing of the 737-8 utilising the Mototok Spacer 8600NG. The first of 12 towbarless tug units arrived in October 2023, allowing ADS to operate electrical pushback on customers’ narrowbody fleet. This makes MAG the first organisation in Asia and second in the world to operate this particular electrical pushback model, signifying its commitment to reduce its emissions from the ground up.
As part of its fleet modernisation plans, MAG is currently undergoing a refurbishment on 39 of its 47 B737-800 NG aircraft, which is targeted to be completed in early 2024. In addition, the Group recently acquired one A350-900 aircraft to support its growth requirements, and will be receiving 20 Airbus 330neo aircraft, with the first delivery scheduled in September 2024. MAG currently owns a fleet size of 102 through its subsidiaries Malaysia Airlines, Firefly, MASwings and MASkargo.