Saturday 1 October 2016

Bellew says Malaysia Airlines' Boeing order is 'game-changer'

Published 28/07/2016 | 02:30

Former Ryanair executive Peter Bellew. He replaces the ex-Aer Lingus boss Christoph Mueller in Malaysia Airlines
Former Ryanair executive Peter Bellew. He replaces the ex-Aer Lingus boss Christoph Mueller in Malaysia Airlines

Malaysia Airlines, the Asian carrier that's headed by former Ryanair executive Peter Bellew, has placed an order for 25 Boeing 727 Max aircraft, with a list price of about $2.75bn. It has also taken options for 25 more of the aircraft.

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Mr Bellew described the order as a "game-changer" for Malaysia Airlines, where he succeeded former Aer Lingus boss Christoph Mueller as chief executive last month.

The Boeing order is the first major purchase agreed by Malaysia Airlines since a huge restructuring of the business was begun in 2014.

Deliveries of the new aircraft will begin in 2019.

"This deal is a game-changer for Malaysia Airlines with much lower costs and greater efficiency," said Mr Bellew.

He added that cost savings would be passed on to customers through lower fares. He said the aircraft would also enable customers to connect to more destinations.

In an interview with the Irish Independent last month, Mr Bellew said that Malaysia Airlines would probably focus its future growth on the Asean region.

"The emphasis is going to be on being the airline of choice in the Asean region," he said. "Our business to Japan, China, Korea and Taiwan is very strong. I think that's what we'll be looking to capitalise on."

He confirmed yesterday that the Asean growth strategy remains on track with the Boeing order.

"This new aircraft order will set the stage for our continued recovery and success into the next decade," he said.

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