In the latest interview for Bloomberg, Malaysia Airlines Chief Executive Officer Peter Bellew revealed that the airline is still in talks with the French aircraft manufacturer Airbus for the purchase of widebody A330s. That’s despite MAS’s last week’s placed order for nine Boeing 787-9 aircraft.
MAS CEO said the negotiations with Airbus will continue this week and, if the deal is reached, the A330s will operate alongside 787s as part of the airline’s fleet renewal plan.
Bellew also added that MAS is also seeking to buy up to 12 second-hand Airbus A330s, which are needed to fulfill its immediate growth plans. The plan is to acquire these planes in the first half of 2018 and in 2019. These will replace Boeing 737-800s on slot-constrained routes operated by these jets.
Malaysia Airlines currently has 15 Airbus A330-300s and is due to receive its first (out of six ordered) Airbus A350-900 in November this year.
MAS Not Canceling Auckland Flights
Meanwhile, Malaysia Airlines said it does not plan to cancel any flights to or from Auckland Airport in New Zealand.
In a statement about this, Malaysia Airlines said:
To address this issue, Malaysia Airlines (flights) will perform a technical stop in Melbourne (Australia) for refueling on its Kuala Lumpur-Auckland-Kuala Lumpur route.
MAS operates four times per week to Auckland.
According to reports, the main fuel pipeline for the airport was ruptured by a digger working on a nearby farm. Later, the acid soil had corroded the pipe even further. As a result, the airport has suffered a jet fuel scarcity, which in turn caused more than 40 domestic and international flights from various airlines to get cancelled since this weekend.
The pipeline, which also carriers gasoline and diesel in addition to jet fuel, should be fully repaired and back in action by 26th September at the latest.
Meanwhile, the New Zealand military has stepped in and offered to cancel its planned military exercise with Singapore and one of its naval tankers as well as truck drivers to transport the fuel to the airport.