28th January, 2014
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) will suspend flights to Los Angeles following a route rationalisation exercise, effective April 30, to stem losses.
“While MAS has a long history in Los Angeles, this route is no longer economically viable.
“The factors contributing to this negative situation today include over capacity and competition resulting in lower yields, high cost of operating the B777 aircraft and pressure from continued increases in fuel costs.
“These are adding further pressure to MAS’ group expenses, which we are continuously evaluating,” Group Chief Executive Officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said in a statement.
MAS regrets any inconvenience to passengers as a result of these changes and assured that it would honour all forward bookings ticketed to date on the affected route.
“The company will make alternative carrier arrangements to ensure minimum discomfort to passengers,” it said, adding that the route rationalisation was expected to have a minimal impact on Malaysia’s position as a top tourist destination in Asia.
The national carrier said it would continue to promote connectivity between Malaysia, the United States and other key international destinations, as well as contribute towards the overall efforts by the various authorities to increase tourist arrivals to Malaysia.
“This will allow MAS to better manage and optimise resources beyond existing gateways in Asia and Europe,” the statement added.
Currently, the airline is offering seamless one-stop air connectivity between Kuala Lumpur and several major cities in the US through a code-share arrangement with American Airlines and Japan Airlines, its partner airlines in the oneworld alliance.
Among the connection is between Kuala Lumpur and the US Cities of Atlanta, Boston, Washington, Houston, Minneapolis, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Las Vegas, San Diego, Honolulu and Raleigh via Europe and Japan.
Concurrently, MAS would focus on Asia where the demand outlook was strong, fuelled by a growing middle-class and increased global and intra-regional trade.
“The national carrier will increase frequencies to key regional cities to benefit from the strong growth in regional demand.
“The impact of the above rationalisation on Malaysia Airlines’ cargo operations will be minimal as the national carrier continues to maintain its key cargo destinations in the United States,” the statement added.