Malaysian Airlines goes Boeing for Trump?
Deal announced while Malaysian Prime Minister visits Trump
During a prime ministerial delegation to Washington, an MOU has been signed between Malaysian Airlines and Boeing which includes the conversion of some previous 737 MAX orders to 8 x Boeing 787-9 orders.
There is nothing that warms relations between Donald Trump and foreign dignitaries like the purchase of American technology.
The deal is being reported as a victory for Boeing over Airbus in some media. Although it may be mainly about politics and getting on the right side of Donald Trump.
Malaysian Airlines have had a rough time of late. They had two flights ending in disaster – one for reasons that are still unexplained (MH370), and one due to a Russian/Ukranian rebel missile (MH17). Those two disasters didn’t help the airline, already being challenged by local low-cost carriers. The airline reverted to Government ownership in late 2015.
It has been trying to restructure, which included trying to get rid of its two A380’s, and successfully getting rid of their ‘cursed’ 777’s.
The stability of the airline has not been assisted by terminating the employment of airline-turnaround-expert Christoph Mueller early. Rumours abound – but the most piquant were that he left due to consistent interference from the Malaysian political system. The new CEO from 2016 is Peter Bellew, previously the airline’s chief operations officer. His experience includes stints as an Airport Manager at Kerry Airport Killarney, Ireland, and in a range of positions at low-cost carrier Ryan Air.
The move to 787-9’s may be a smart one, as these aircraft are versatile enough to be used regionally across Asia, but still function on long haul routes.
Malaysian and me
I travelled on one of their A380’s in Business, not long after the MH17 and MH370 incidents. They did not have the greatest hard product, but the staff and service were very good. I wonder if any of those people are still working with the airline, since their significant operational slimming?