Qantas partner Malaysia Airlines will cease flying from its Kuala Lumpur hub to Brisbane this year, and also looks to be reducing its services to Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.
Malaysia Airlines will axe its daily Brisbane (MH134/135) service from August 9.
Sydney will see flights reduced from triple-daily to double-daily as the airline drops MH143 from August 3 and return leg MH142 from August 4. These were same flights suspended earlier this month as Malaysia Airlines' A380s temporarily appeared on Sydney flights.
Melbourne is also cut from three flights to two each day, dropping MH147 from August 2 and KL-bound MH146 from August 3.
Adelaide will be trimmed back to four flights a week with the cancellation of MH136 to Kuala Lumpur on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays from August 10 and MH139 home to Adelaide on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays from August 9.
Perth's five-times-weekly flights (MH126/127) have also been removed from sale on the airline's website beyond August 15, while the city's daily MH124/125 flights remain untouched.
A Malaysia Airlines spokesperson confirmed to Australian Business Traveller that its Brisbane flights were on the chopping block, but is yet to advise whether the changes observed on its Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth routes are temporary or permanent.
"Malaysia Airlines regrets the inconvenience caused to passengers as a result of these changes and assures that customers holding tickets to and from Brisbane will be eligible for a refund or re-accommodated on alternative flights," the spokesperson said.
"Connectivity will be maintained via Malaysia Airlines flights to other destinations within the Australia region, with connections on our Oneworld partner, Qantas Airways, to/from Brisbane."
Malaysia Airlines: reshaping its Australian flights
Axed as part of a larger restructuring plan for the ailing carrier, Malaysia Airlines CEO Christoph Mueller had flagged earlier this month that unprofitable routes would be abandoned or frequencies reduced, but that Australian routes wouldn't be significantly impacted:
"The Australian market is of such importance to us, and to Malaysia, that I do not expect major changes there," he said on June 1.
Passengers on affected flights are advised to contact Malaysia Airlines on 132 627 to discuss their travel plans, while passengers with flight connections via Kuala Lumpur to other destinations will also receive free accommodation if their transit time exceeds six hours.
Options for Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth passengers have not yet been shared by Malaysia Airlines, although it's expected that guests on any cancelled flights may be able to switch to an alternate Malaysia Airlines service on the same day.
Flights between Darwin and Kuala Lumpur remain at three-times-weekly after the latest changes, while services from KL to a number of Asian cities including Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Manila and Taipei also face minor frequency reductions.
Note: A previous version of this article indicated that flights to Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide were unaffected by today's changes: this was correct at the time of publication, although the airline has now altered flights on these routes as reported above.
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