Malaysia Airlines to get new name from September 1st

Malaysia Airlines to get new name from September 1st

LATEST | For those wondering, Malaysia Airlines has seen an overnight and largely behind-the-scenes change of name but not yet of brand.

It's still 'Malaysia Airlines', but the company itself is now known as Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) rather than Malaysian Airline System Berhad (which most knew as MAS). The Malay word 'berhad' means 'private' and is used to indicate a private limited company.

PREVIOUS | Malaysia Airlines will be rebranded as of September 1 as part of a sweeping program to re-invent the troubled airline.

The new name is being kept under wraps for now, but according to newly-minted Malaysia Airlines CEO Christoph Mueller – the first non-Malaysian to head the beleaguered airline – it is "Malaysian at heart."

"The brand will be around a Malaysian-centric ideal" Mueller explains. "We will test it very diligently with test groups because we have to achieve the prediction of a new start in markets where our brand is tarnished."

"The travelling public needs to understand we are not just MAS in a new disguise but truly a start-up [although] of course we want to be as well-known as the old carrier."

Mueller is embarking on what he describes as "hard reset" for the airline, with the name just one factor in a sweeping and ambitious program.

However, he says the new MAS will continue to "serve all continents either directly of via alliances and partnerships."

Some routes to be cut

Mueller admits that the airline will "reduce frequency on some routes, in some cases cases abandoning the route altogether" if it can't be made profitable, even with fewer flights on smaller aircraft, with the network's new shape due to be revealed by the end of June.

But Australia looks safe from the scythe. "The Australian market is of such importance to us, and to Malaysia, that I do not expect major changes there."

The double-daily Airbus A380 service between Kuala Lumpur and London will remain.

"London is our flagship route" Mueller says. "We are very happy with the current operating pattern, the (morning and evening) schedule we are operating is the best you can imagine – and we have three classes and a lot of cargo capacity which we need on that route."

First class remains, new business class on the way

There is also no plan for the reinvented airline to drop first class – currently seen only on the A380s – in favour of the core of business and economy travel.

Mueller told Australian Business Traveller that the business class seats on MAS' Airbus A330 and Boeing 777 jets would be upgraded to an all-new design with "very large dimensions, and will be positioned above the industry standard for business class."

Read: Malaysia Airlines: all-new business class for A330s, Boeing 777s

And while some of the airline's Golden Wing airport lounges around the world will be closed in favour of superior facilities operated by Oneworld partners, those which remain open – including its flagship lounges at Kuala Lumpur – will receive a much-needed upgrade as MAS works to woo premium travellers.

Read: Malaysia Airlines to close some airport lounges, update others

Two A380s for sale

Mueller also confirmed that the airline has put two of its six Airbus A380s up for sale or lease, citing them as being "surplus to requirements" but said he has yet to find a taker for the pre-loved superjumbos.

Malaysia Airlines took delivery of its first A380 just less than three years ago, in May 2012, and currently flies the double-decker jets from its home hub in Kuala Lumpur to London and Paris.

Malaysia Airlines has racked up debts approaching $1.5 billion since 2011, with a dire situation worsened by last year's twin tragedies of the disappearance of flight MH370 and the shooting down of MH17.

The airline was nationalised in late 2014 by Malaysia's government-owned investment arm Khazanah Nasional, which has pledged a A$2 billion injection to fund the dramatic restructure aimed at returning the airline to profitability by 2017.

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David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.
 

19 comments

  • RK

    Ryan K

    1 Jun, 2015 02:45 pm

    Interesting to note that there is no mention of Melbourne on the network map shown in this article...

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  • aklrunway

    aklrunway

    1 Jun, 2015 02:54 pm

    There is a dot representing Melbourne but it looks like the name just didn't fit

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  • Peter Loh

    PeterLoh

    1 Jun, 2015 02:56 pm

    There's a line drawn on the map for Melbourne, just no label.

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  • Andy H

    Andy H

    1 Jun, 2015 06:14 pm

    Don't worry, Malaysia Airlines will be flying to Melbourne for years to come! :) The map was taken from the oneworld website, it seems it didn't quite fit, with Adelaide taking all of Melbourne's space.

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  • aklrunway

    aklrunway

    1 Jun, 2015 02:57 pm

    It's a shame Auckland will be served via Australia. Doesn't make Malaysia Airlines very attractive when you have Thai, Cathay and Air New Zealand flying directly to asia connecting to other ports

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  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    1 Jun, 2015 03:13 pm

    That map doesn't necessarily show a detour via Sydney, as KL-Auckland has a separate line than KL-Sydney.

    (If the route was KL-Sydney-Auckland, there would likely only be one line along that path.)

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  • aklrunway

    aklrunway

    1 Jun, 2015 03:18 pm

    Good point Chris - fingers crossed!

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  • smit0847

    smit0847

    1 Jun, 2015 04:26 pm

    I'm guessing the new name will either be Air Malaysia or MalayAir or something like that - it wont be radically different.

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  • Ryan Stephen

    RaptorNation158

    1 Jun, 2015 05:44 pm

    I am just gonna say Air Asia.

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  • Jason Bird

    Speedbird

    1 Jun, 2015 09:26 pm

    Hey... I thought that was funny!!

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  • Ryan Stephen

    RaptorNation158

    3 Jun, 2015 09:20 pm

    Not sure if that was sarcastic or not, but thanks!

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  • FRANKLIN LOO

    Mdm Milton

    1 Jun, 2015 10:26 pm

    Great! I will say Malaysia Airways. It is time to cut UNprofitable routes.

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  • GuyBetsy

    GuyBetsy

    1 Jun, 2015 11:41 pm

    They need to drop the name "Malaysia" so maybe back to its old name "Malayan Airways" is ok. 

    KUL-AKL is nonstop. It doesn't go via Australia !

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  • aklrunway

    aklrunway

    2 Jun, 2015 03:45 pm

    I'm well aware it doesn't currently go via Australia. However when I first glanced at the map above it looked as though it was going via Sydney...

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  • EARL CAMERON

    CAMMERS

    3 Jun, 2015 01:53 am

    I ALWAYS FLY MALAYSIA AIR FROM PERTH TO KL, MY FAVOURITE HOLIDAY SPOT. ALSO FLY WITH THE AIRLINE TO LONDON. I WOULD NOT CHANGE. I AM NOT PUT OFF BY THE TWO AIRLINE INCIDENTS. WE WERE OFFERED A REFUND AFTER MH 17 BUT KEPT OUR BOOKING AND FLEW AS PLANNED. I AM GLAD THEY ARE INSTALLING LIE FLAT BEDS. A VERY GOOD MOVE. I ALSO LIKE THE SYSTEM WHEREBY YOU CAN BID FOR AN UPGRADE FROM ECONOMY CLASS TO BUSINESS CLASS. THIS ISA VERY GOOD AIRLINE THAT WILL OVERCOME THE TWO TRAGEDIES AND RETURN TO THE TOP OF THE AIRLINE INDUSTRY, JUST WAIT AND SEE!

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  • smit0847

    smit0847

    3 Jun, 2015 05:20 pm

    THANKS FOR LETTING US KNOW.

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  • Ryan Stephen

    RaptorNation158

    3 Jun, 2015 09:19 pm

    lol caps

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  • brad  wilton

    wilto413

    29 Jun, 2015 07:38 pm

    Sounds promising for the future.

    is there any idea when they will revamp the seats in business, as they said they will be doing but no dates mentioned

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  • AFL_SBDN

    AFL_SBDN

    1 Sep, 2015 10:41 am

    Any update on this?

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18 Jul, 2019 05:28 pm

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