The Straits Times
Published on Dec 18, 2012

Malaysia Airlines to buy 36 ATR turboprop planes


KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Malaysia Airlines on Tuesday said it will buy 36 new ATR turboprop aircraft for 3.0 billion ringgit (S$1.1 billion) as it looks to boost profits be further expanding its regional and domestic networks.

Of the 36 ATR-72-600 planes, the carrier said 20 will go to low-cost subsidiary Firefly, which is fast expanding its lucrative routes, while 16 are for MASwings, another low-cost carrier that flies to Sarawak and Sabah on Borneo island.

The purchase comes after struggling flag carrier Malaysia Airlines in November said it had swung back to a profit, ending six straight quarterly losses after slashing unprofitable routes to cut costs.

Malaysia Airlines group CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said Firefly is expected to rapidly expand within the next five years thanks to growing demand in Asia.