Malindo Air to fly to 20 destinations
Malindo Air plans to fly new routes such as China, Japan, South Korea and Indonesia from June
MALAYSIA’S first hybrid airline Malindo Air has mapped out a strategy to fly to some 20 destinations such as China, Japan and South Korea over the next two years.
The airline’s chief executive officer Chandran Ramamuthy said between now and June, Malindo Air will fly to Miri, Sibu, Bintulu, Penang and New Delhi.
Malindo Air started its maiden flight on March 22 from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang.
Currently, it offers four daily flights between KLIA and Kuching and three daily flights between KLIA and Kota Kinabalu.
In the second half of this year, the airline hopes to fly to China, northern Japan, South Korea and Indonesia from the klia2 terminal, Chandran said.
klia2, the country’s new low-cost carrier terminal, is slated to open on June 28 this year. It will be able to accommodate up to 45 million passengers a year.
“We will fly to new destinations when we increase our aircraft fleet. Currently, we are using two Boeing 737-900ERs to serve Kota Kinabalu and Kuching. By June this year, we will be adding two more B737-900s and between July and December, eight more,” he said.
Chandran said Malindo Air is targeting to have some 100 planes in its portfolio over the next 10 years.
Starting from 2014, it plans to add 10 new aircraft a year.
The planes will be leased on long-term basis from Lion Air, which has placed an order for over 400 aircraft from Boeing.
Malindo Air is owned by the National Aerospace Defence Industries of Malaysia and Lion Air of Indonesia and offers a hybrid service, which is between full and low-cost airline service.
Jakarta-based Lion Air is Indonesia’s largest privately run airline, holding the biggest share of the country’s commercial passenger market. As of December 2012, it was the world’s largest customer of B737-900s.
“We are riding on our parent company because of economy of scales.
“The whole idea is to position Malaysia as a transit hub. We want to create a hub at klia2 and the Kota Kinabalu airport to bring passengers from Lion Air to Malindo Air and fly them within Malaysia and to Asia,” Chandran said.
Lion Air, which carried nearly 30 million passengers last year, expects to serve 36 million passengers this year. Malindo Air is targeting 10 per cent of the market from Kuching, Miri, Bintulu and Sibu.
“We are bullish on the performance of Malindo Air. We are neither a low-cost carrier nor a full-service airline. That is why we are called a hybrid airline. We provide aerobridge facilities and in-flight services, and affordable fares,” he said.
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