MAS hikes capacity to London, Paris

MALAYSIA Airlines will introduce double daily Airbus A380 services on its Kuala Lumpur-London (Heathrow) route beginning November 24. The flag carrier will also commence daily A380 operations to Paris effective March 1, 2013, replacing existing daily services with Boeing B777 aircraft.

The move will raise the weekly seat capacity on the Kuala Lumpur-London route from 5,971 to 6,916 seats in each direction, a 16 per cent increase.

MAS group CEO, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, said: “This initiative is part of our efforts to standardise our product offering on (the Kuala Lumpur-London) route for oneworld customers when we join the alliance early next year (TTG Asia e-Daily, February 9, 2012).”

Noor Mohammad, head, Europe department, Asian Overland Services Tours & Travel, said increased capacity on the Kuala Lumpur-London route would help alleviate the shortage of seats during the peak British travel season in November and December.

“However, whether it will lead to a significant increase in (inbound) tourists is still too early to tell, as it will also depend on airfares,” he added.

Abdul Rahman Mohamed, deputy general manager channel management, Mayflower Acme Tours, said: “MAS has the inventory, but whether it will stir the market depends on its fare pricing. Will it be as competitive as Middle East carriers, especially during the peak season?”

MAS’ move to boost capacity to Europe comes at the expense of planned A380 services to Sydney (TTG Asia e-Daily, August 13, 2012) and Melbourne. The carrier was orginally due to deploy the A380 on its daily Sydney-Kuala Lumpur flights from November 26, with Melbourne expected to follow from March 2013.

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