28 May 2023
As it evolves into an international carrier, Malaysia’s MYAirline has signed various support agreements, including a JV for ground services.
At every major aviation show, there are a slew of announcements, usually stage-managed to garner maximum publicity on the sidelines of the event. Last week’s LIMA 23 event in Malaysia had its share, including six from Malaysia’s new entrant MYAirline.
The Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) is held every two years, pandemics permitting, on the Malaysian island of Langkawi.
It is a pre-eminent Asian aerospace gathering, and as a home airline, it was logical that MYAirline took the opportunity to announce six agreements during a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing session at the conference.
MYAirline takes center stage
The six MoUs covered a range of financing and support services around the airline’s fleet of seven Airbus A320-200 aircraft.
They covered aircraft leasing agreements with four lessors, an A320 wheel and brake component maintenance program with SIA Engineering Company and an exciting new joint venture with Menzies Aviation for ground handling services.
CEO Rayner Teo described the signings as a pivotal moment in MYAirline’s journey, adding:
“These partnerships not only reflect our vision for growth but also underscore our commitment to delivering unparalleled customer experiences and operational excellence.
“With just six months of operation, MYAirline is poised for an exciting future, and we look forward to serving more passengers and sharing more initiatives in the days to come.”
MYAirline has secured leasing agreements with several aircraft lessors, including Aircastle, Avolon, Genesis and SMBC Aviation Capital.
The low-cost carrier (LCC) said the strategic move “will bolster the airline’s fleet, resulting in a total of 17 aircraft at the end of 2023, valued at a combined $450 million.”
Ground services are vital to all airlines
A fleet of 17 aircraft demands reliable ground handling services if the LCC is going to keep its aircraft on schedule and satisfy customers.
The usual solution for an LCC is to engage a third-party provider, but MYAirline has gone a step further by forming a joint venture with global aviation services provider Menzies Aviation.
The new MYMenzies joint venture (JV), majority owned by the airline, will provide ground services at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL), initially serving MYAirline at Terminal 2.
The airline believes that by integrating ground handling services it will be better placed to deliver seamless and superior passenger experiences, with the JV operating under the Menzies Aviation brand.
This will be the first location for Menzies in Malaysia, and the company is looking to capitalize on growth and expansion opportunities as the nation continues its COVID-19 recovery.
The Malaysian business is also another step by Menzies to establish a larger footprint in Southeast Asia as it complements the existing ground services operations in Indonesia, China-Macau and Thailand.
Of course, cost is a major driver for every LCC in its decision-making, and the airline sees the JV as an important strategic element in its operations. Chief operating officer Stuart Cross touched on this when he said:
“By joining forces with Menzies, we are not only creating hundreds of additional jobs and opportunities but also positioning ourselves at the lowest cost base. This strategic move will enable us to maintain affordable fares for consumers, reinforcing our commitment to providing accessible and cost-effective travel options.”
MYAirline currently operates on nine routes, including eight domestic routes to and from Kuala Lumpur and an intra-Sabah route.
It launched flights on December 1st, 2022 and since then has carried more than 800,000 passengers, and next month will start services to Bangkok, which is MYAirline’s first international destination.
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