Malaysia Airlines (MH, Kuala Lumpur International) has taken delivery of the first of twenty-five B737-8s, ferrying the aircraft into Malaysia’s capital on November 16, 2023. The carrier intends to put the B737 MAX into service before the end of the month.
9M-MVA (msn 66439) departed Seattle Boeing Field on November 13, flying to Kuala Lumpur via Honolulu and Guam International. In a statement, Malaysia Airlines said the total flying time was 21 hours and 45 minutes. According to ch-aviation schedules data, the aircraft will begin revenue flights on November 21, operating two roundtrips per day between Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu.
State-owned Malaysia Aviation Group, the parent entity of Malaysia Airlines, signed a deal with Air Lease Corporation in early 2022 for the B737-8s, with deliveries through to the end of 2026. The type forms part of Malaysia Airlines’ fleet modernisation strategy, said the group, which aims to improve the customer experience, bolster operational efficiencies, and meet future network growth requirements.
Before the arrival of 9M-MVA, Malaysia Airlines’ narrowbody fleet comprised forty-two B737-800s. Recently, MAG Managing Director Izham Ismail said the carrier will issue a request for proposal (RFP) for 20 narrowbody aircraft in the first quarter of 2024. He also warned it wouldn’t necessarily stick with Boeing as its preferred long-term narrowbody manufacturer.
Malaysia Airlines becomes the country’s second 737 MAX operator, with Batik Air Malaysia having 16 of the type.