A Hot, New Ultra-low-cost Carrier for Asia?

Malaysia seems to be getting a brand new ULCC that could just be ready to battle the low-cost legend of AirAsia (AK).



May 12, 2022

DALLAS - Malaysia seems to be getting a brand new ULCC that could just be ready to battle the low-cost legend of AirAsia (AK).

A photo of MYairlines was brought out by an Instagrammer under the name, @theplanespapanazzi, and ever since it has triggered excitement and curiosity amongst the public.

The aircraft still bears a Thailand flag on its nose as it’s a former AirAsia Thailand jet.


What We Know So Far

For starters, it’ll work as an ultra-low-cost carrier and be based out of Kuala Lumpur (KUL), Malaysia. That’s also home to AK, Batik Air (OD), and flag carrier Malaysia Airlines (MH). The founding company was initially registered as Z9 Elite Sdn Bhd and was handed over a 12-month license to carry out scheduled passenger and cargo operations. The license remains valid until the end of this year.

The fleet will be made up of two Airbus A320 jets. There's still no information about when the first flight will take to the skies, or as a matter of fact, to where. One can possibly assume it’ll begin to serve destinations within Malaysia and compete with AK, bringing down fares.

The good old KL-Singapore and KL-Bangkok routes will also be glad to welcome a new airline. Besides, the entire of South East Asia sits around Kuala Lumpur, a perfect base for several major business and holiday cities all under a four-hour radius.

Photo: Ratchapon Pipitsombat/Airways

Perfect Timing and an Edge in Competition?

Asia is the last to come out of the pandemic in terms of air travel restrictions, but given the regions, countries are opening up, demand will exist in such a densely populated region – could it be the perfect time to enter and take on the existing carriers of Malaysia that are under heavy losses.

Izham Ismail, MAB group chief executive officer, commented on the new airline joining the Malaysian market, saying, "My fear for the new airline is that it may derail the sustainability of existing airlines with unnecessarily more capacity, which will benefit the consumers, but is it sustainable to the country?" he told the English daily earlier this year.

As for AK’s well-known Tony Fernandes, he's been quiet.

Featured image: Asian Airlines. Ratchapon Pipitsombat/Airways