Malaysia Airlines Bhd is seeking to add at least 25 single-aisle aircraft and will look to discuss options with both Airbus SE and Boeing Co, chief executive officer Izham Ismail said.
“The number is definitely 25 or more,” Izham said at the IATA gathering of some 300 airlines in Istanbul. The carrier will only know the exact number of required aircraft after Izham meets the airline's board in August, he said.
The CEO said as recently as November that he might double his existing order for 25 Max jets. Failing to secure favorable production slots, Malaysia would choose to extend the operation of its existing jets, the CEO said.
The carrier will launch its campaign for new jets in the fourth quarter. At the same time, Malaysia is seeking aircraft lessors to add an extra four A350 widebody jets to complement the six it has for long-haul operations.
Malaysia had previously ordered Max jets due to be delivered in May but they'll now start to come in August, with Izham cautioning that the revised schedule may also slip.
“I don't know if August is going to be delayed further,” the CEO said, citing supply-chain constraints that have burdened deliveries.