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Malaysia Airlines increases connectivitiy and capacity in east Malaysia


Kuala Lumpur (MALAYSIA AIRLINES) - Malaysia Airlines is reinstating flight services on domestic non-trunk routes in East Malaysia in response to the Government's request and appeals from the traveling public. It will also increase frequencies to its existing trunk-routes in East Malaysia.

Effective 18 September 2006, Malaysia Airlines will introduce twice daily flights between Kota Kinabalu and Miri as well as a daily flight between Kuching and Bintulu.

Concurrently, it will mount an additional daily frequency between Kota Kinabalu-Tawau and Kota Kinabalu-Sandakan making it 4 daily frequencies between the Sabah state capital and the 2 cities.

In view of the above operations, the airline is rightsizing its Miri-Kuching return sector operations to 3 times daily effective 18 September 2006.

Malaysia Airlines has deployed an additional 144-seater B737-400 aircraft for the above new operations. This aircraft will be also based in Kota Kinabalu, together with the existing fleet of 3 B737-400 aircraft currently used for East Malaysian operations, in line with the national carrier's on going initiative to further develop the Sabah state capital as one of its secondary hubs in Malaysia.

Malaysia Airlines will also enhance connectivity between Kota Kinabalu and Labuan from 18 September 2006, increasing it from 2 to 3 daily flights and making it 4 times daily from 1 October 2006. An additional frequency will also be mounted on the Kuala Lumpur-Labuan return route effective 1 October 2006, making it double daily.

Commenting on the latest domestic network adjustments, Malaysia Airlines Managing Director/CEO Mr Idris Jala said, "As the national carrier, we are committed to the people of Malaysia. Earlier, we responded to the government's concerns by reinstating our flights on Johor Bahru-Kuching, Penang-Langkawi, Kuala Lumpur-Sandakan and Kuala Lumpur-Tawau routes. We are happy to step in again to the needs of customers with the much needed capacity and connectivity on the non-trunk routes and also increase our frequencies on the trunk routes in East Malaysia."

"Under the new domestic aviation policy, we have restructured our domestic operations to make it profitable, as outlined in our Business Turnaround Plan announced on 27 February 2006. We are now exercising full control over our customer value proposition, frequencies, fleet, capacity and pricing to best serve the needs of our passengers as well as improve our yields on this segment of our operations. These will be also extended to the travelers on the non-trunk routes that we will be operating by next week," he added.

On 27 March 2006, the government announced a domestic network rationalization plan allowing Malaysia Airlines to operate 19 trunk routes within Malaysia effective 1 August 2006. In July 2006, the Government allowed Malaysia Airlines to fly on 4 additional routes (Johor Baru-Kuching, Kuala Lumpur-Tawau, Kuala Lumpur-Sandakan and Penang-Langkawi) increasing the national carrier's domestic routes to 23 under the rationalization exercise.

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