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Malaysia Airlines, Firefly, MASwings: new domestic strategy – flat capacity, more aggressive pricing

The Malaysia Airlines Group plans to maintain current capacity levels in the Malaysian domestic market but is aiming to recapture market share through load factor improvements. The group’s domestic market share has slipped from 45% to less than 37% since 2013 as its domestic passenger traffic has dropped by more than 10%, due to capacity cuts and load factor declines.

Malaysia’s other two domestic players, AirAsia and Lion JV Malindo Air, have steadily grown their market share since launching in 2001 and 2013 respectively. AirAsia currently has a leading 45% share of domestic capacity in Malaysia – and an even higher share of traffic given its higher average load factors – while Malindo has approximately 14% and the Malaysia Airlines Group 41%.

The Malaysia Airlines Group is introducing a new, more aggressive pricing strategy in both the domestic and international markets in an attempt to boost load factors and regain market share. Malaysia Airlines’ domestic load factor was only 65.6%% in 2015 and slipped to 64.7% in 1Q2016. Firefly’s load factor was also below 70% in 2015, while MASwing’s load factor was below 60%.

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