KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB) signed a deal with American aircraft maker Boeing to buy 16 aircraft, during Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's visit to the United States.
The deal includes 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 aircraft.
Once finalised, the deal will be posted to Boeing's Orders and Deliveries website, the company said in a statement issued in Washington today.
Najib also said Malaysia intended to increase the number of Boeing planes to be purchased by Malaysia Airlines.
"We are committed to 25 planes of the 737 MAX 10, plus eight 787 Dreamliners. And there is a strong probability -- not possibility – probability that we will add 25 more 737 MAX 10 in the near future.
"So within five years, the deal will be worth beyond AS$10 billion. We will also try to persuade AirAsia to purchase GE engines," he said.
"Malaysia Airlines is proud to sign this MOU for the widebody Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and additional 737 MAXs, building on our more than 40 years of partnership with Boeing," MAB managing director and chief executive officer Peter Bellew said.
"New widebody aircraft are a 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 US destinations in the future from Kuala Lumpur.
"The MOU with Boeing on their Global Fleet Care program will allow the two companies to build a world class MRO for the 737 MAX, 787 and 737NG based on Malaysia's existing facilities in Kuala Lumpur," Bellew added.
Malaysia Airlines currently operates more than 50 Next-Generation 737s and has an additional 25 737 MAXs on order, including 10 for the new 737 MAX 10.
"Boeing offers the very best widebody 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 Kevin McAllister, president and chief executive officer, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
"The 787 and the 737 MAX will 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 787s are advanced, efficient airplanes that uses 25 per cent less fuel and with 20 to 25 per cent fewer emissions than the airplanes it replaces.
The 737 MAX 10 will be the most profitable single-aisle airplane, offering the lowest seat costs ever.
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 will open up new destinations in the single-aisle market.