16 Boeing jets order signed by Malaysia Airlines

KUALA LUMPUR, 13 Sept 2017:

Boeing and Malaysia Airlines signed a memorandum of understanding to acquire 16 airplanes – eight 787 Dreamliners and eight 737 MAXs, in Washington DC yesterday.

The signing was witnessed by International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed in the presence of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak as well as members from the airline and Boeing.

The announcement included eight 787-9 Dreamliners by converting eight of Malaysia Airlines’ existing order of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft and eight additional purchase rights of the 737 MAX 8s, as well as, Boeing’s Global Fleet Care service to maintain the national carrier’s current and future Boeing airplanes, Boeing said in a statement issued in Washington.

Boeing Global Fleet Care provides point solutions in the form of engineering, materials and maintenance programmes for air operators.

Once finalised, the deal would be posted to Boeing’s orders and deliveries website, it said.

“Boeing offers the very best wide-body and single aisle airplanes in the world and we are delighted Malaysia Airlines continues to put its trust and confidence in Boeing with this MOU for 16 Boeing airplanes,” said president and chief executive officer, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Kevin McAllister.

He added that the 787 and the 737 MAX would provide Malaysia Airlines with unmatched fuel efficiency, economics and a superior passenger experience as they continue to grow their business across Southeast Asia and beyond.

The 787 is a family of technologically advanced, super-efficient airplanes with new passenger-pleasing features and uses 25% less fuel and with 20-25% fewer emissions than the airplanes it replaced while the 737 MAX family has been designed to offer customers exceptional performance, flexibility and efficiency, with lower per-seat costs and an extended range that would open up new destinations in the single-aisle market.

Meanwhile, Malaysia Airlines managing director and chief executive officer Peter Bellew said the new wide-body aircraft was key to making Malaysia Airlines a premium airline, offering a five-star product again.

“The extraordinary range of the 787-9 gives an ability to operate to any point in Europe and some USA destinations in the future from Kuala Lumpur.

“The MOU with Boeing on their Global Fleet Care programme will allow the two companies to build a world class maintenance, repair and overhaul for 737 MAX, 787 and 737NG based on Malaysia’s existing facilities in Kuala Lumpur,” said Bellew.

Malaysia Airlines currently operates more than 50 Next-Generation 737s and has an additional 25 of 737 MAXs on order, including 10 for the new 737 MAX 10.

US president Donald Trump welcomed Najib to the White House on Tuesday, praising his country for investments in the US while steering clear of an American investigation into a Malaysian corruption scandal.

The visit is important for Najib, who faces elections next year and wants to signal he is still welcome at the White House despite a criminal probe by the US Justice Department into 1Malaysia Development Bhd.

Flanked by top advisers in the Cabinet Room, Najib told Trump that Malaysia Airlines would buy 25 Boeing 737 jets and eight 787 Dreamliners, and would probably add another 25 737s in the near future – a deal he said would be worth more than US$10 billion within five years.

Najib said Malaysia’s Employees Provident Fund, a major pension fund, wanted to spend US$3-4 billion on US infrastructure development.

Najib had once enjoyed close ties with Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, playing golf with the Democratic president in Hawaii in 2014.

A senior US official explained that the administration has prioritised developing relations with Southeast Asian countries to counter “huge gains” China has made in the region during the past decade.

“There’s a recognition under this administration that we can’t continue to cede our relations in all these countries because of whatever the issue of the day is.”

Trump praised Najib for his tough stand on Islamic State in Southeast Asia, and for cutting off economic ties with North Korea.

“He’s been very, very strong on terrorism in Malaysia, and a great supporter from that standpoint,” Trump said. “He does not do business with North Korea any longer, and we find that to be very important.”

– Agencies

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