Last updated: 04:15 PM ET, Fri October 23 2015

Struggling Malaysia Airlines Offers 50 Percent Discount

Airlines & Airports | Rich Thomaselli | October 23, 2015

Struggling Malaysia Airlines Offers 50 Percent Discount

In the airline business, having a fare sale that amounts to a virtual 2-for-1 deal is an admission of a struggling carrier. Nobody, it seems, is struggling more than snakebitten Malaysia Airlines.

The beleaguered airline, which suffered two tragic and catastrophic crashes last year, is offering 50 percent discounts on all tickets in its Year-End Super Special Sales (YESS), which it announced Tuesday and continues through tickets purchased by Oct. 30. The airline said the YESS campaign was for the travel period of Nov. 1, 2015 until April 30, 2016 and includes international or domestic airfares inclusive of Malaysia’s on-demand in-flight entertainment, all meals, as well its complimentary checked-in baggage limit of 30 kilograms (66 pounds).

Malaysia’s head of sales, Laurent Recoura, said in a statement, “Don’t miss out on the sale as we have the best prices to your favorite destinations. Business class travelers can also take advantage of this opportunity to secure attractive fares for their official travel, with 40 kg checked-in baggage allowance.”

This is just the first step as the airline tries to woo back passengers with a domino-effect approach – use the fare deals to gain more business, wow them with improved customer service, and hope that word-of-mouth carries it to an increase in customers.

How bad has it been? In the wake of the disappearance of MH370 in March of 2014, and the shooting down of MH17 just four months later in July – resulting in the loss of more than 600 lives – Malaysia Airlines’ bookings have not only dropped, but the carrier has reduced a significant amount of flights in the name of saving money. For instance, where it once had 73 daily flights to Australia, one of its most popular destinations, Malaysia now has 43 flights – and none to Brisbane.

Mueller says Malaysia Airlines will consider adding more capacity to Australia.

"I believe that market is gone for people like us or Singapore Airlines or Garuda [Indonesia] or Thai [Airways]," new CEO Christoph Mueller said to the Sydney Morning Herald. "It is firmly in the hands of Middle East carriers. But also we recognize China, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, India, are growing and that is where we will focus. We going from a northwest/southeast focus more to a north/south."

Mueller said the carrier will begin an ambitious plan in December to turn around the perception of Malaysia Airlines with improved services, including new seats, catering, in-flight entertainment and lounge concepts, as well as operational improvements such as better punctuality and improved connection times through Kuala Lumpur on popular routes, according to the Herald.

These changes will take place over the next 18 months.

Also, Mueller said despite earlier reports, Malaysia Airlines will retain its name and brand.


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