KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21 — Malaysia Airlines Bhd said today that its recent memorandum of understanding (MoU) to acquire 16 new jets from American manufacturer Boeing is still optional.
The national carrier also explained that funding for aircraft are planned on a sale-and-operating leaseback or simple operational lease, following media reports yesterday that the company will not be using its own funds for the purchase.
“We would like to reiterate that as of now, we have a firm order of 25 Boeing 737 aircraft with everything else being optional,” it said in a statement.
“The options, as well as a variety of other arrangements including the recent MoU with Boeing, will allow us to have some flexibility in deciding which aircraft suits our operational environment best.”
“Malaysia Airlines will continue to carefully evaluate all options available to us to ensure our purchases make both business and operational sense. This is necessary and in line with ongoing prudent fleet management and cost containment efforts across the Group,” it added.
The carrier made an agreement with Boeing last week to purchase eight Boeing 787-9 widebody and eight Boeing 737 airplanes.
The signing of the MoU, Boeing said, was witnessed by Minister of Trade Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed in the presence of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in Washington, US, yesterday. The value of the deal was, however, not mentioned.
A previous news report by international newswire Reuters had said that the deal with the American aircraft manufacturer was to be worth more than US$1.8 billion (RM7.5 billion) at list prices.
Malaysia Airlines managing director and chief executive Peter Bellew said the new widebody aircrafts will help propel the service of the national carrier further into a premier airline.
Yesterday, financial paper The Malaysian Reserve quoted an internal memo dated September 15, with Bellew reportedly saying the planes will not be owned by the carrier but will be on operating leases.