MAS confirms longhaul routes to be dropped from January

MALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) has followed up promptly on its business plan (TTG Asia e-Daily, December 8, 2011) announced last week by revealing details of loss-making routes to be axed from 2012.

Based on an internal document made available to TTG Asia e-Daily, the first route to be terminated on January 7 will be the daily Langkawi-Penang-Singapore one.

The following services will also cease:

  • twice-weekly Kuala Lumpur-Karachi-Dubai flights (January 12)
  • twice-weekly Kuala Lumpur-Dubai-Damman flights (January 13)
  • daily Kuala Lumpur-Surabaya flights (January 30)
  • thrice-weekly Kuala Lumpur-Johannesburg flights (January 31)
  • twice-weekly Kuala Lumpur-Cape Town-Buenos Aires flights (February 1)
  • thrice-weekly Kuala Lumpur-Rome flights (February 2)

Group CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said: “The withdrawal accounts for almost 12 per cent of our passenger capacity, and we estimate that the ongoing route rationalisation will have a profit impact of RM220-302 million (US$69-95) for 2012.”

“The above route rationalisation is expected to have minimal impact on Malaysia’s position as a top tourist destination in Asia as we will work aggressively with our codeshare partners (to address the gaps). We also hope to return to these markets after we have stabilised our business,” he added.

With the termination of these routes, MAS will focus on the ASEAN region, South Asia, Greater China and North Asia where the demand outlook is said to be strong. As a result, the airline will increase frequencies to key regional cities.

MAS assured it would honour all forward bookings ticketed to date on the affected routes.

By N. Nithiyananthan

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