Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has placed an order for 50 737MAX aircraft, with firm orders for 25 aircraft and purchase rights for 25 more, in a deal worth $5.5bn.
Deliveries of the narrowbody are scheduled to begin in 2019. As part of the struggling carrier’s plans to reverse its fortunes, MAS intends to use the re-engined version of the 737 to replace some of its existing fleet of 56 737-800 aircraft.
“The deal is a game-changer for Malaysia Airlines with much lower costs and greater efficiency, which we will pass on to our loyal customers with lower fares,” said MAS CEO Peter Bellew, who replaced Christoph Mueller as the head of the airline on July 1.
Bellew also confirmed MAS aims to reduce costs by 40 per cent with the influx of new aircraft, while he expects operational outgoing to fall by 15 per cent.
It has already made moves to reshape its fleet by confirming the retirement of its 777 aircraft while agreeing to lease four A350s from 2018.