Malaysia Airlines plans to deploy A380 aircraft on services from Kuala Lumpur to Sydney, Tokyo Narita and Beijing, as reported by Bernama. The airline launched its first A380 service, Kuala Lumpur-London Heathrow, on 01-Jul-2012 after recently taking delivery of its first of six A380s. The A380 will be placed on Sydney service from late Nov-2012.
Malaysia Airlines to operate A380 to Tokyo Narita, Beijing and Sydney
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Where the A380 flies: Japan and intra-Asia routes decline while Australia & Middle East grow
The A380 is once again under media scrutiny, despite there being no major movement on the type. Comments from Air France and Qantas about not taking further A380s have long been assumed, and it has been apparent that Malaysia Airlines does not even have the need for its A380s. Singapore Airlines not renewing the lease on its first A380 is hardly surprising, and offers no definitive conclusion about the A380 or second-hand market; early A380s had different production and are not as efficient as later models. The lack of movement on the A380neo continues to irk the model's largest customer by far, Emirates, and may not make for a productive relationship as Emirates weighs an A350 or 787 order.
For most, the A380 continues to fly. How and where it flies is changing. Flights to and from the Middle East are becoming more common as Gulf airlines, and mostly Emirates, take delivery of A380s. A further shift to the Middle East is inevitable. In Japan there has been a near exodus of A380s; airlines dropping the type as they moved from Narita to Haneda, which cannot accommodate the A380 during the day, and Singapore Airlines down-gauging. Intra-Asia flying is decreasing – notable given the growth of A380s based in the region. Services by the A380 to Australia are growing, perhaps as it becomes an easy market for airlines to redeploy capacity amid European security concerns and trans-Pacific overcapacity.
Malaysia Airlines update Part 2: China drives resumption of capacity and network growth
Malaysia Airlines will resume expansion in 2017 with several new routes and capacity increases on existing routes. Most of the expansion is directed at China, with eight new destinations, the resumption of a second daily flight to Shanghai, and upgauging one of its Hong Kong flights.
The airline is evaluating further expansion in China and elsewhere in North Asia in 2H2017 if it succeeds at securing additional A330s. Malaysia Airlines continues to seek leases on up to four A330s, which would result in a fleet of 19 aircraft.
Overall seat capacity will be up by 5% to 6% in 2017. Passenger numbers could potentially increase by more than 10% as Malaysia Airlines aims to significantly improve its load factor on the back of new lower fares.