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Mohd Azizul Ramli

MAS A380 - Fleet to be Retained

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Yes, pilgrimage business is good - we have at least two airlines operating these charters from KUL. FlyGlobal is now flying charters from KUL in addition to MAB. I am not sure if Eaglexpress is still in the market.

 

However, the pilgrimage business is peaky - huge capacity is needed during the Haj season while only normal capacity is needed off season. So it is very difficult to have a dedicated fleet for this purpose. The VLAs need other routes to keep them flying off season.

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doubt MAB can be profitable as they are keeping this 6 A380s and only flying them when there is some demand or likely when their A330s are unexpectedly AOG for some time. If MAB was able to hive out these a380s from their books by starting a new charter company, then their financial woes will be lessen. Still believe MAB should try to sell these 6 A380s again even at a lower price as its expensive to just keep them around to use only when there's demand as MAB still have to pay for the planes whether they fly or not.

A malignant tumour - radical measures to get rid of it to save life and limb..... although the A380 issue must be more complicated than that.

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MH denies scrapping the Haj unit

 

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/malaysia-airlines-dismisses-report-of-plans-to-scrap-444084/

 

PS: I am curious about the Haj/Umrah charter plans. Let's say they re-configure the 380s into 2-class configuration with 600 seats (a conservative estimate) and they send 4 380s to MED/JED/RUH (2 spares or just for rotation since only 1 frame is needed for KSA rotation) a day - that's 2,400 available seats to KSA per day or approximately 864,000 seats a year to KSA - is there such a large market for pilgrimage charters (especially when there aren't that many connections that feed to charter flights) year round?

If they can price it cheaply enough it will make the trip accessible to a large portion of rural Malays whose only goal is to visit Makkah.

 

And since Umrah is not a one time thing, don't be suprised to see repeat customers if they can price it right.

Edited by Mohd Suhaimi Fariz

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Whatever the decisions behind keeping the A380s, ordering the A350s and leasing the A332s, the bottom line is that MH is growing capacity and expanding instead of shrinking, slashing and burning, and that can only be a good thing.

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I, for one, am glad that they're kerping the A380s. It's a wonderful plane to fly in and still my favourite after flying the 787 and A350. The A350 is great for low season to LHR but definitely doesn't have enough capacity for peak season flights. Keeping them would also open up the possibility of offering First Class all the way from SYD/MEL to LHR and I know quite a number of people who want that kind of service.

 

I think that there is still tremendous marketing value in operating A380 services - just look at the excitement that was created when MAB sent them to NRT, ICN and Australia earlier this year.

 

However, the latest FlightGlobal report denied that the Haj airline has been scrapped and the A380 reconfiguration will go ahead. So we will have to wait and see if first class survives...

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I can't imagine us Malaysian taxpayers not stumping up for yet another hefty bailout bill a few years hence from here

Edited by BC Tam

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MW dreams - LAX, CDG, FRA, AMS, JNB, EWR, YVR etc.

 

Hindsight is always 20/20, no? It wasn't too long ago when MH was struggling terribly after the twin disasters that prompted MH to shrink. A lot. Once daily 738 to PVG, 3 daily 738 to HKG, pulling out of AMS, CDG, FRA, BNE and a whole slew of others.

 

Imagine this at MH's boardroom meeting in Dec. 2014:

Intern: My analysis showed that we will need to lease more wide bodies in 3 years, expand in China by resuming second daily into Shanghai and will be served by 330s on both flights, expand into secondary Chinese cities such as Fuzhou, Haikou, Chengdu, Chungking, Hangzhou, and Nanjing.

Others: I want whatever you are smoking!

 

Nobody at that time thought that MH could recover to this level today in just 3 years - expanding rapidly into China now when China was one of MH's worst market then.

 

350s were ordered to replace the 380s to serve LHR. As bad as MH was back then, at least they knew the value of LHR slots (they could have easily sold it and never return).

 

PS: I am curious about the Haj/Umrah charter plans. Let's say they re-configure the 380s into 2-class configuration with 600 seats (a conservative estimate) and they send 4 380s to MED/JED/RUH (2 spares or just for rotation since only 1 frame is needed for KSA rotation) a day - that's 2,400 available seats to KSA per day or approximately 864,000 seats a year to KSA - is there such a large market for pilgrimage charters (especially when there aren't that many connections that feed to charter flights) year round?

The Saudi govt put a restriction of the number of pilgrims from Malaysia to perform the haj yearly. Currently it stands at only 27,900 a year only. So MAB keeping the A380s for Haj is really a non workable option and now that they realized this. http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/haj-quota-for-pilgrims-restored-to-27900-this-year-says-tabung-haji#QpwoQWVOHIwtmt6W.97

Whatever the decisions behind keeping the A380s, ordering the A350s and leasing the A332s, the bottom line is that MH is growing capacity and expanding instead of shrinking, slashing and burning, and that can only be a good thing.

MAB must have realised now and the previous CEO that with the 6 A380s, MAB was not abl to fill up the seats for the past 5-6 years of having these A380s. Whats the use of expanding capacity when they cant even fill up the planes and or as MAB have tried to lower its fares to increase passenger loads but its revenue per pax is falling. There's no point in expanding when the airline do not make a profit. And keeping these 6 A380s especially will just make it near impossible to make a profit and when these planes are only used when there is occasional demand and for replacing the A330s when they are AOG.

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The Saudi govt put a restriction of the number of pilgrims from Malaysia to perform the haj yearly. Currently it stands at only 27,900 a year only. So MAB keeping the A380s for Haj is really a non workable option and now that they realized this. http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/haj-quota-for-pilgrims-restored-to-27900-this-year-says-tabung-haji#QpwoQWVOHIwtmt6W.97

 

When the idea was first mooted, MAB had cast its sights far beyond Malaysia. They were hoping for charter business from Indonesia and other muslim countries too.

 

Perhaps, they did not come up with a pervasive value proposition - doing business without government protection in a competitive world is tough! So they gave up and decided to stick to being jaguh kampung.

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The Saudi govt put a restriction of the number of pilgrims from Malaysia to perform the haj yearly. Currently it stands at only 27,900 a year only. So MAB keeping the A380s for Haj is really a non workable option and now that they realized this. http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/haj-quota-for-pilgrims-restored-to-27900-this-year-says-tabung-haji#QpwoQWVOHIwtmt6W.97

 

MAB must have realised now and the previous CEO that with the 6 A380s, MAB was not abl to fill up the seats for the past 5-6 years of having these A380s. Whats the use of expanding capacity when they cant even fill up the planes and or as MAB have tried to lower its fares to increase passenger loads but its revenue per pax is falling. There's no point in expanding when the airline do not make a profit. And keeping these 6 A380s especially will just make it near impossible to make a profit and when these planes are only used when there is occasional demand and for replacing the A330s when they are AOG.

 

Hajj is only a 3 mth period per yr. Umrah is another 6-7mths and the quota rule does not apply here.

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Whatever the reasons for the keeping the A380s, if they're gonna do it for real, then may i suggest a repainting of the livery. And please, wash them up.

 

With the exception of the A380s, I don't think the number of A333s and A332s are overly ambitious. Barely enough in my opinion. Destinations like Bangkok and Jakarta could do with 1 or 2 widebody services during peak morning/evening hours. Hong Kong and Taipei should see more widebody operations too. And if only MAS could secure rights for Haneda. Beijing and Shanghai services should be increased back to pre-MH370 levels of capacity. Bring back Brisbane. And do something about Perth.

 

The A350s - and the B787 if it comes - give plenty of options. They don't have to just do long haul flights. Plenty of operators do good business flying their new A350s and B787s on their regional medium haul flights. And please go back to Europe. Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam. Come on! Stop yielding to the ME3, SQ, etc.

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With the exception of the A380s, I don't think the number of A333s and A332s are overly ambitious. Barely enough in my opinion.

 

Do you think MH has unlimited supply of funds? They are already taking delivery of 12 wide-bodies between 2017 and 2018 (and this excludes the yay or nay on the 380s) - that is a lot of capacity in a very short period of time especially when they weren't expanding that much for the past few years. NS18 is probably one of the largest MH expansion I have seen in years.

 

And if only MAS could secure rights for Haneda.

 

That's a bilateral issue. No new international slots are expected at HND until around 2020 when Tokyo hosts the Summer Olympics. No Japanese carriers took up HND-KUL authority when Malaysia was awarded a daily slot at HND; hence the Japanese government did not award Malaysian carriers a second slot at HND when the next round opened up (compared to one or two daytime slots at HND from neighboring countries including Vietnam, Philippines, and Indonesia).

 

Now that NH operates HND-KUL, both JL and NH can request for another daily slot at HND to open up another HND-KUL link (if they deem appropriate).

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Well most of us here at MWings were highly sceptical of that plan. Furthermore, we also thought that the sudden withdrawal of the B747 and B777 fleets were a huge over reaction to MAS' billion MYR losses.

 

Now they have come up with another half baked plan for the A380. It is going to be used as a super sub on (seasonal) routes with heavy traffic. At other times, it will do the pilgrimage runs. It would appear that the A380 fleet will be lightly utilised. But that is the best it can do - the alternative is to park the planes in the (KLIA) desert.

 

The A350 does not look like it will have a future. It was part of the knee jerk reaction that retired the B747/777 fleets. It would appear that they can't back out of the lease - so they just took it and will return it when the lease ends or when it is possible to terminate them. The current A333s also look like they will go back to lessors because they were leased at a time when the rates were still high. The ex-AB A332s were bargains and that was why they were snapped up - they will replace the expensive A333s when the time comes.

 

So that leaves us with the MoU for B789s. It would appear that these are going to be the A333's true replacements - if the MoU is firmed up. It is a rather roundabout way to get the 787s!

I thought all 6 had undergone heavy maintenance last year?

 

 

I think the MoU has now expired

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I think the MoU has now expired

 

Not sure what the validity period is. However, I think it was designed to confuse the kampung folks into thinking we made a big order. It was, in actual fact, a conversion of an earlier B737 order to B787. There was then an option to order more 737s (to replace the ones converted to 787s) should they become necessary.

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The Saudi govt put a restriction of the number of pilgrims from Malaysia to perform the haj yearly. Currently it stands at only 27,900 a year only. So MAB keeping the A380s for Haj is really a non workable option and now that they realized this. http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/haj-quota-for-pilgrims-restored-to-27900-this-year-says-tabung-haji#QpwoQWVOHIwtmt6W.97

For the record Saudi Govt as the guardian of the 2 Holy Mosques put restriction on ALL countries hajj pilgrim. And we managed to get extra quota arnd 2000 plus after negotiations.

MH was looking beyond Malaysias hajj/umrah pilgrim charter business. I took MH charter to Umrah last year and half of the economy end was filled up by Indonesian pilgrims.

Edited by Mohd Firdaus Bolong

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For the record Saudi Govt as the guardian of the 2 Holy Mosques put restriction on ALL countries hajj pilgrim. And we managed to get extra quota arnd 2000 plus after negotiations.

MH was looking beyond Malaysias hajj/umrah pilgrim charter business. I took MH charter to Umrah last year and half of the economy end was filled up by Indonesian pilgrims.

You are mixing Hajj and Umrah in the same response which will continue to confuse others.

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You are mixing Hajj and Umrah in the same response which will continue to confuse others.

 

To make it less confusing to everyone:

 

Haj - limited time frame (usually after Eid period), limited quota.

Umrah - year round, unlimited quota.

Edited by Mohd Suhaimi Fariz

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To make it less confusing to everyone:

 

Haj - limited time frame (usually after Eid period), limited quota.

Umrah - year round, unlimited quota.

Thanks.

 

And to add a wrinkle, the year round for Umrah excludes the time when it is Hajj period and also the shoulder periods before and after Hajj period. So in reality, Umrah is just 7-8mths in a year.

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MH route expansions lately to Indonesia such as Surabaya and upcoming Yogjakarta are gonna be the feeder flight for those Indonesians going to Umrah/Hajj since Indonesia airports are incapable of handling A380 yet.

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MH route expansions lately to Indonesia such as Surabaya and upcoming Yogjakarta are gonna be the feeder flight for those Indonesians going to Umrah/Hajj since Indonesia airports are incapable of handling A380 yet.

 

Good strategy - they should build up their Indonesia feeder network...

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