Malaysian Airlines plans to add more Airbus A380s to its fleet, in a move which may see the airline resume plans to fly the superjumbo to Sydney and Melbourne.
MAS now has filled its initial order of six A380s, which list at US$404m each, but is now considering adding "a few more" from Airbus, Bloomberg reports MAS CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya as saying.
While MAS' current superjumbos service London, Paris and Hong Kong, the new aircraft could allow the airline to introduce the A380 to Australia.
MAS previously planned to bring its A380 onto the Sydney-KL route from November last year, with Melbourne slated for March 2013, to provide an 'A380 all the way' experience from Sydney and Melbourne through to London.
However, that plan was axed in October last year, with MAS instead shifting its Sydney-Kuala Lumpur flights to Airbus A330s as the airline moves to retire older Boeing 747 and 777 planes from its fleet in an attempt to reign in fuel costs.
“The A380s have been successful with passenger load factor of above 80 percent, sometimes even full load" Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said, adding that "remaining static means you will be shrinking when the market grows. We have to grow at least in step with the market."
Any new A380 order would allow MAS to opt for one of Airbus' new 'high density' designs which can fit 558 seats spread across a standard three-class configuration of first, business and economy, compared to today’s 490 seats in the same mix.
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