Malaysia Airlines is considering doubling its current firm order of 25 Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes. If confirmed, the airline could expand the fleet with a total of 50 Boeing 737 MAX planes.
The announcement was made by Malaysia Airlines chief executive Izham Ismail during an annual meeting of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines, which took place on November 10, 2022, in Bangkok. “Our future network requires 50 narrowbody airplanes, so we have still got space for 25,” Ismail said.
According to the Malaysia Airlines CEO, the carrier is set to make its final decision over the order expansion by 2023. The potential acquisition of additional planes is valued at around $1.2 billion at current list prices.
The carrier initially ordered 25 MAX 8 planes in 2016. But deliveries of the planes were delayed due to both the global grounding of the MAX and the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, in February 2022, Malaysia Airlines revived the order under a deal with Air Lease Corporation.
Following terms of a long-term lease agreement with the US-based company, Malaysia Airlines now expects to receive the first aircraft from its existing order in 2024. The remaining planes will be handed over to the airline by 2026.
According to Planespotters.com data, Malaysia Airlines currently operates 73 planes, including 24 Airbus A330s, six A350 XWBs, and 43 Boeing 737 family aircraft.