Malaysia Airlines is set to officially announce the purchase of 20 Airbus A330neo wide-body passenger aircraft to renew its aging wide-body fleet, Reuters reported, citing industry sources.
The aircraft will replace the Malaysian flag carrier’s six A330-200 and 15 A330-300 wide-body jets.
The Kuala Lumpur-based carrier will likely involve leasing around half of the upgraded A330neo planes and purchasing the rest directly from Airbus, sources, who were not authorized to speak publicly, confirmed to Reuters on August 10, 2022.
Malaysia Airlines currently operates a mixed fleet of Airbus and Boeing jets, including nine Airbus A330-200s with an average age of 13.5 years and 15 A330-300s with an average age of 10.2 years. Additionally, the airline operates a 4.5-year-old Airbus A350-900s and 44 Boeing 737-800 narrow-body planes with an average age of 9.8 years in operation, according to Planespotters.com data.
News regarding the potential deal first appeared in July 2022. At the time, AeroTime reported that the airline was close to finalizing a deal with Airbus to replace its existing fleet of A330s with the newer model. Malaysia Airlines initially placed a provisional order for Boeing 787 Dreamliners in 2017, but the deal was terminated in favor of Airbus as the A330neo had been selected as the preferred model.
According to Airbus, the A330neo has lower fuel burn and produces fewer carbon emissions while offering a greater range than the previous generation.
The use of newer, more efficient jets is one of the ways airlines are seeking to achieve net-zero by 2050, a goal set by IATA member airlines.