With its growing middle class and increased investment in the aviation industry, India remains an important market for Malaysia Airlines, claims Dersenish Aresandiran, the Chief Commercial Officer of the airline. In calibrated response to the evolving dynamics of the Indian market, the airline focuses on the expansion of its network.
Sharing details on India as a market, Dersenish Aresandiran, Chief Commercial Officer, Malaysia Airlines, says, “India has emerged as our leading international market, a testament to the robust travel demands it commands. Moving forward, our strategic focus entails a gradual expansion of our network and an increase in flight frequencies, thoughtfully calibrated in response to the evolving demand dynamics within the Indian market.”
Currently, Malaysia Airlines offers 67 weekly flights to nine Indian destinations, comprising New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Kochi, as well as Amritsar, Trivandrum and Ahmedabad, which was launched in 2023. “Notably, we have already surpassed our pre-pandemic levels of operation in the country. Furthermore, following a positive response and load factor performance, we will also increase our frequency from Kuala Lumpur to Amritsar from two to four times weekly. This will raise our weekly flights to India to 69. Our target is to transport approximately 2 million passengers collectively from Indian destinations,” he says.
He further adds, “Malaysia Airlines boasts a healthy load factor in the India market. Our average load factor stands at 83 per cent year-to-date.”
Year that was
Claiming that the last one year has been remarkable for them, Aresandiran shares, “We continue to witness robust travel demand, witnessing a 90 per cent increase in overall passenger traffic year-to-date compared to pre-COVID levels. Globally, most of our routes have registered a steady increase in load factor performance and strong forward booking.”
The airline has recently announced expansion plans for several key markets, including India, China, Australia, and ASEAN. “We have also recently announced an addition of 248 flight frequencies in our domestic and international routes in anticipation of the surge in demand due to upcoming festivities. we will be ramping up frequencies from Kuala Lumpur to Cochin (COK) from 6x to 7x weekly from 31 Oct 2023 to 27 March 2024,” he informs. Adding further, he reveals, “As demand continues to recover, our plan is to gradually increase capacity over time. Our aim is to recover fully to pre-pandemic levels by May 2024. Furthermore, as an airline subsidiary of Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG), we are committed towards implementing our Long-Term Business Plan 2.0, outlining our trajectory up to 2025. Our long-term strategy involves transforming MAG from a pure-play aviation business into Asia’s leading travel and aviation services group.”
Throwing light on codeshares and partnerships, he says, “Specifically, for the Indian market, we have interline partnerships with Air India and Vistara, which offer passengers with seamless travel options through connecting flights operated by both airlines.”