Malaysia Airlines plans to raise capacity by another 15% this month

Captain Izham Ismail (Photo by Patrick Goh/The Edge)

Captain Izham Ismail (Photo by Patrick Goh/The Edge)

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 4): Malaysia Aviation Group Bhd (MAG) is planning to increase its aircraft capacity by an additional 15% on top of the 20% of pre-Covid-19 level projected for this month, in light of Malaysian borders reopening.

The airline group expects that by year end the capacity would reach 70% of pre-Covid-19 capacity level, said MAG group chief executive officer Captain Izham Ismail.

MAG is the parent company of Malaysia Airlines Bhd.

Captain Izham said that with the trend of higher demand (inbound) coming from India, the United Kingdom, and Europe into Malaysia, the airline is looking at 80% capacity.

"Our forward looking until the middle of this year has been encouraging. Of course the conflict in Europe as well as the impact of high oil prices... those factors come into play. But in the context of movement, it has been encouraging.

"Our domestic business is just like our competitors in Malaysia. We are also looking at very high load factors moving between Sabah and Sarawak," he told reporters after a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signing between Malaysia Airlines and Perbadanan Kemajuan Kraftangan Malaysia here on Monday.

He said the airline group saw the booking pick up from the last couple of weeks since the government announced the reopening of Malaysia's borders on April 1.

Meanwhile, in her speech, Kraftangan Malaysia director-general Aididah Ibrahim said the MoU is aimed at promoting and marketing local handicraft products through several initiatives that will benefit handicraft entrepreneurs as well as national airline customers, through Malaysia Airlines' digital platform JOURNIFY.

"JOURNIFY is an e-commerce platform developed by Malaysia Airlines to facilitate tourists to find shopping locations, places to eat, tours, and other interesting information [about] Malaysia.

"Starting [from] Feb 22, 2022, Kraftangan Malaysia through Syarikat Pemasaran Karyaneka Sdn Bhd has participated in the JOURNIFY application and until now a total of 86 units of handicraft products have been uploaded to be promoted and marketed," she said.

She said that among the product categories were textile craft, forest products, metal products, land products, and various craft comprising fashion and accessories, home decor, corporate souvenirs, and tourism products.

"This number will be increased gradually until it reaches the mutually agreed target of 100 units," she added.