MELBOURNE: As Malaysia Airlines System Bhd’s (MAS) inaugural third daily flight took off from Melbourne yesterday with a full load, the national carrier began plans for a fourth daily service to meet increasing demand from Australians.
MAS Regional senior vice-president Lee Poh Kait told a large gathering at the airport here that while they were celebrating the exciting occasion yesterday, the airline was making plans for further expansion of services from Malaysia to Melbourne.
Lee said the third daily service would increase capacity from 7,896 seats a week to 11,844 seats.
“We will now be offering morning, afternoon and midnight services from here to Kuala Lumpur.
“Our customers will benefit with improved connectivity to more than 60 destinations within the airline’s network via our hub at Kuala LUmpur International Airport (KLIA),” he said.
Lee said the triple daily services would also provide more opportunities to strengthen tourism, business and education traffic between the two countries.
“Melbourne has always been an important market for us and it is the first city in Australia offering 21 flights every week.
“We have seen an overall increase of 16.7 per cent in passenger uplift and discharge from Malaysia and an increase of 6.7 per cent in international passengers to Melbourne compared with 2012,” he said.
Lee said MAS had invested a lot of money to serve the Australian market with its state-of-the-art fleet.
“The additional service will be operated by the innovative A330-300 aircraft and will have 36 seats in business abd 247 seats in economy class,” he said.
From next February, MAS will be operating a total of 74 flights a week from six capital cities in Australia.
Lee also paid tribute to the work of the MAS manager here, Terence Swampallai, and his staff in facilitating the new service.
Saying MAS was “part of our family for many years”, Melbourne Airport chief executive, Chris Woodruff, said Melbourne was Australia’s largest market for travel to and from Malaysia.
He said the new third service would not only bring more passengers to Melbourne but would also provide more choices for Victorians.
Acknowledging the award-wining Malaysia Airlines as one of the world’s premier airlines, Woodruff said he was proud to work with the Malaysian carrier, adding that he looked forward to more Malaysians visiting Melbourne.
Malaysian Consul-General here, Datuk Dr Mohd Rameez Yahaya, said he hoped more Melbournians would travel to Malaysia, not only for a holiday, but to seize business and investment opportunities. — Bernama