Malaysia Airlines today has announced that it will be suspending direct flights connecting Kuala Lumpur and the Australian city of Brisbane next year, starting from 27 March 2023. The local airline added that it is undertaking a route rationalisation exercise as part of a thorough business review that is currently ongoing.
In a press release published earlier today, group chief executive officer Captain Izham Ismail said the decision to suspend operations into Brisbane is to ensure that the airline is able to operate and utilise its fleet at an optimum level, as well as maximising revenue on every route. He added that the continued increase in fuel cost, forex and interest rate are also the determining factors behind the move.
According to Malaysia Airlines, customers travelling to Brisbane can instead leverage its codeshare and Oneworld partner Qantas, as well as opting for connecting flights from Sydney and Melbourne after the suspension. On that note, it stated that the last flight on this route will depart from Brisbane to Kuala Lumpur on 26 March 2023 via flight MH134.
The carrier also assured that its operations on non-stop flights between Kuala Lumpur to four other existing Australian destinations will continue without change. These include the cities of Adelaide, Sydney, Perth and Melbourne, which currently has up to 43 direct services a week. Malaysia Airlines added that it will continue to maintain stable connectivity between Malaysia and Australia, on top of quickly rebuilding traffic between the two countries to boost economic growth, whilst also helping business and trade.
“Our forward booking to other Australian cities is very encouraging with strong demand up to and beyond the first quarter of 2023, with forward bookings significantly ahead of the same period in 2019,” Izham said. “We remain steadfast in our long-term goals of driving growth in every aspect of our business for market relevance.”
(Source: Malaysia Airlines [press release])