Malaysia Airlines encourages travellers to use Journify app, to discover new places, plan their trips and shop local favourites; all in one single platform  

0
1149

Responses to be attributed to Mr. Amit Mehta, Country Manager- South Asia Malaysia Airlines India

  1. Post Pandemic as a result of “multiple headwinds” confronting Malaysia Airlines, including inflation and high fuel prices, what airlines and tourism trends do you see?

We expect the demand for travel will continue to improve as borders globally gradually ease restrictions despite the significant headwinds faced. Customers favour locations that either have no restrictions or have relaxed COVID norms and processes. Therefore, in order to support the recovery of air travel and tourism, governments, aviation organisations, and airlines must continue to work together to prioritise and promote safe and seamless travel experiences.

Customers are also seeking for more flexibility when travelling, whether that be in terms of payment or booking options. With the uncertainty of the pandemic, airlines also had to take a different approach to passenger satisfaction – one of which was to allow flight date changes at no extra charge. At Malaysia Airlines, we have introduced various fare families that offer highly flexible and convenient perks, including free flight changes. For example, our MHflypass ASEAN is a travel pass that allows for three return trips within 12 cities at a fixed rate within a one-year period. We also recently launched MHPay which is a new alternative payment method for consumers to purchase air tickets, ancillary products, and services via malaysiaairlines.com.

On top of this, consumers are also becoming more climate conscious, with emphasis on sustainable and eco-friendly travel decisions. At Malaysia Airlines, delivering socially responsible and environmentally focused service is one of our key priorities, with sustainability now top of mind for many travellers. Consumers, particularly the younger generation, are much more aware of the impact they have, not only on the environment but also socially within and surrounding their communities. Consumers are asking for information on carbon emissions and how to offset them to make their trips more sustainable. Therefore, travellers can be expected to lean towards more eco-friendly travel options in the future, such as options for carbon offsetting or use of sustainable aviation fuel.

  1. How have airlines fared in the last two quarters post the reopening of borders?

Since the relaxation of travel restrictions, the majority of the routes we operate in have recorded steady increase in load factor performance. We have been deploying our fleet and network expansion opportunistically during peak periods to service high demand/capacity sectors and continue to closely monitor the level of capacity coming into the market as all airlines rush to ramp-up operations. The challenge is to work towards the right level of supply of seats vs the level of demand that is expected to exist in the market. Too much supply, and we are likely to see a price war which is unhealthy and unsustainable.

Throughout the quarters, we have been committed to facilitating safe and seamless travels so guests can continue to Fly Confidently and experience a smooth journey underpinned by inimitable Malaysian Hospitality. At Malaysia Airlines we always look forward to welcoming passengers to Fly Malaysia and enjoy full-service offerings.

  1. With the travel demand has been very robust this year, what’s the capacity demand for 2022 and 2023 for Malaysia Airlines?

Flight bookings have improved rapidly over the past few months as many countries have eased travel restrictions and opened their borders. India has always been an extremely important market for Malaysia Airlines and being the fastest growing economy in the world it offers a huge potential. We are continuously reviewing the opportunities in the India market and will add new routes, increase frequencies or upgrade aircraft wherever needed to meet these demands. 

Post the reopening of borders, Malaysia Airlines has reinstated its scheduled commercial services from India with 31 weekly flights from five (5) major cities, namely New Delhi (DEL), Bangalore (BLR), Mumbai (BOM), Chennai (MAA), and Hyderabad (HYD). Beginning December 2022, we will ramp up the weekly flights on the existing routes and also reinstate weekly flights from Kochi (COK), increasing the overall weekly flights to 52 which will provide greater convenience and flexibility for travel between the two countries.

We are looking at achieving pre-pandemic capacity back for India by the end of the year. Overall, we are at approximately 60% of pre-COVID-19 capacity for domestic and international travel and are on track to achieve our target of more than 70% by year end 2022 by gradually increasing our frequency and network. We will deploy fleet and network expansion opportunistically during peak periods to service high demand/capacity sectors.

4. Do you have any plans to launch any Campaigns around the festive period in India to encourage customers to travel to Malaysia? 

Our primary focus is on our customers, a lot of what we do is based on their active feedback. We create products for different segments as no ‘one size fits all” and are tailor-made to fit the various travellers we have. The holiday season is quickly approaching, so in an effort to promote leisure travel, we’ve introduced the “Bonus Side Trip” programme, which allows passengers to add an extra leg to their journey and explore cultural gems at minimal cost. 

We are aware of our clients’ need for a seamless, integrated travel experience. With programmes like MHholidays, we make it simple for people to plan their next vacation by giving them a single platform to select and customise their getaways, which can include flights, lodging, ground transfer services, and holiday packages.

They can then use our Journify app, to discover new places, plan their trips and shop local favourites; all in one single platform. The Journify platform also provides the first-of-its-kind flagship experience through the Journify2U service, allowing domestic and international passengers departing from or arriving into Kuala Lumpur International Airport to have their products purchased on the Journify app with the option for their purchases to be delivered to them at the boarding or arrival gate.

5. Please explain the objective and features as Malaysia Airlines unveils the new B737-800 business class.

We embarked on the  B737-800NG refurbishment exercise after a thorough evaluation of pre-pandemic  demand trends as well as customer feedback and suggestions. A series of focus groups and surveys were conducted to understand customer wants  specifically out of short haul travel. Key points derived were that customers wanted simplicity, convenience, comfort and additional capacity during peak/festive travel periods. The B738NG addresses these with a modern and elegant cabin design as well as a personalised one-stop solution to in-flight entertainment, onboard retail and loyalty. 

The refurbishment exercise also presented us with the opportunity to incorporate our identity into our hard product and work towards offering a streamlined and standardised brand and product design across our fleet, unique only to Malaysia Airlines. 

In addition to this, this exercise also ties in seamlessly with Malaysia Airlines’ commitment towards sustainability through our use of lightweight materials in the cabin design. The new refurbished cabin first commenced service on 17 September 2022 for Kuala Lumpur to Tawau sectors, with the remaining B737-800NG to be progressively refurbished by the second quarter of 2023. 

6. The prolonged impact expected from the Russia-Ukraine conflict in Indian as well as global airspace, how is it going to affect the airlines and travel industry.

Russia-Ukraine has been one of the worst humanitarian disasters in history. Not only has the war sent shockwaves to the economies beyond the Russian- Ukrainian territories, but it has also impacted sectors including tourism and travel. Oil prices have risen as a result of the conflict in Ukraine. The aviation sector, which is still struggling to recover from months of travel restrictions due to the pandemic, will be put under even more pressure as a result of the increase in fuel prices, and in turn may affect air fares as a result. A rise in crude oil prices on a global scale will result in higher domestic inflation for Indian markets as well. The airline continues to proactively manage its capacity to mitigate unprofitable routes due to rising fuel costs.