Malaysia Airlines boosting Osaka, Bangkok, Melbourne, Colombo routes this summer

14 Mar 2019 by Craig Bright

Malaysia Airlines is giving a number of its services around Asia-Pacific a boost this summer season with frequency increases scheduled to take place on the carrier’s services between Kuala Lumpur and Melbourne, Osaka, Colombo and Bangkok between March and September this year.

Ignatius Ong, chief revenue officer of Malaysia Airlines, said: “Ahead of the peak holiday season, Malaysia Airlines will be mounting extra flights to facilitate high passenger movement to these destinations.”

The airline’s Osaka route will be the first to see a boost, with frequency increasing to 10 times per week during the months of April and August. This will include an added Friday and Sunday service (MH7206/MH7207) that will run from March 31 until April 28, and again from August 2-30, along with a Saturday flight that will operate from April 6-27 and August 3-31.

Osaka will be followed shortly after by Bangkok, with Malaysia Airlines adding new Monday and Wednesday flights (MH798/MH799) starting April 1 that will bring the total number of flights on the Kuala Lumpur-Bangkok route to 44 per week.

From July 1 to September 30, the carrier’s Kuala Lumpur-Melbourne and Kuala Lumpur-Colombo services will receive their frequency boosts.

The Melbourne service will be bumped up to 17 times a week with added Monday, Friday and Sunday flights (MH147/MH146) out of the Malaysian capital (Monday, Tuesday and Saturday from Melbourne).

The Colombo route, meanwhile, will go to 10 weekly flights with new Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday flights (MH7213/MH7212).

Travellers flying on Malaysia Airlines’ Perth service will also see a change, though this will be in aircraft rather than frequency. Starting April 1, the airline will fly its Airbus A330-200 on the route rather than the current Boeing 737-800.

The change notably means passengers flying in the business class cabin will have access to flatbed seats that are laid out in a far preferable 1-2-1 configuration that enables all passengers in the cabin to access the aisle directly.

The 737-800 is a single-aisle aircraft laid out in a 2-2 formation (pictured below), meaning window-seat passengers need to climb over their neighbours in order to get to the aisle. Business Traveller Asia-Pacific has previously reviewed Malaysia Airlines’ 737-800 business class offering.

Malaysia Airlines' B737 Business Class cabin

Malaysia Airlines has been struggling financially for some years now, and these updates come as the country’s Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad, said the government is considering the future of the airline.

A Reuters report quotes Mahathir as saying that the government is “studying and investigating as to whether we should shut it down or we should sell it off or we should refinance it”, adding that all options remained open and that the decision would be made “soon”.

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