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MASwings allocates RM3m to refurbish aircraft
Published on: Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Kota Kinabalu: MASwings has allocated RM3 million for the refurbishment of its fleet of 10 ATR 72-500 aircraft in Sabah and Sarawak, said Acting Chief Executive Officer Datuk Captain Mohd Azlan Mahmood.

Mohd Azlan, who is also Director of Flight Operations, said the first aircraft to be refurbished with the new livery will be in Sarawak and is scheduled to be unveiled in December.

"It is part of MASwings' Year of Repair 2017 programme which was announced in March this year, and we expect it to be finished by the first quarter of next year," he said.

Mohd Azlan said this after the media preview of their ATR 72-500 aircraft cabin refurbishment at the Maswings hangar, here, Monday.

He said that the aircraft refurbishment will cover the passenger seats, cushion covers, carpets, curtains and crew seats in line with MASwings' new motto of "Young, Fresh & Speed."

When asked about the Rural Air Services (RAS) agreement and how it would affect the airline, Mohd Azlan said it was still in the process of being finalised and discussions are still ongoing with the government to revise the agreement and thus were unable to disclose any details at the moment.

Previously it was reported that the 10-year-old RAS agreement would be extended until Dec 31 after expiring on Sept 30 and a seven-year contract is expected to be signed on Jan 1 next year.

It has also been reported that there would be a revised business plan for MASwings, which might enable commuter airline to fly further with potentially new and bigger aircraft.

When asked whether they will be expanding their fleet, MASwings Head of Commercial Marketing Shauqi Ahmad said not at the moment as the new RAS agreement is yet to be finalised.

He said MASwings' goal next year was to focus more on improving customers' experience.

Shauqi also said the airline's flight on-time performance (OTP) was between 96 and 100 per cent mark generally for most days and added that a total of 1.4 million passengers was recorded by the airline last year with an average passenger load of around 60 per cent. - Neil Chan

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