Younger fleet seen with MAS' B737-400 exit

Younger fleet seen with MAS' B737-400 exit
MAS' last Boeing 737-400 flight on the KLIA tarmac.

SEPANG - The move by Malaysia Airlines to retire all its Boeing 737-400 passenger aircraft will see the average age of its fleet dip from 4.7 years to 4.35 years.

The airline now has 151 aircraft in its combined fleet, including Airbus A380s, A333s, B77s and ATR72-600s.

MAS chief executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said the 737-400 series would be replaced by the 737-800 series, of which 53 are currently in service.

The 737-800 uses 15 per cent to 20 per cent less fuel compared to the 737-400, and can fly for five hours one-way.

He said MAS expected to see more deliveries of the 800 series this year and the next, with a total of 64 by the end of 2015.

The Boeing 737-400 entered MAS' fleet in May 1992, and at one point 54 aircraft were in service, making the company the largest operator of the model outside the United States.

It previously served domestic routes, including in Sabah and Sarawak, as well as selected short-haul South-East Asian destinations.

The last Boeing 737-400 was retired on Saturday.

It touched down in KLIA at 9.31pm, after taking off from the Bayan Lepas airport in Penang at 8.41pm.

Codenamed MH1165, it carried 85 passengers and had 10 cockpit and cabin crew.

Capt Wan Muzainal Wan Mahazir, 42, who piloted the aircraft, said he and his crew had fond memories of the 737-400.

"It has been a memorable 22-odd years. We still have vivid, fond memories from when we started our training on the 400 series, 20 years ago," he told reporters here.

He was joined by Capt Mohd Ezaddin, 33 and Capt Nasaruddin Abu Bakar, 40, who served as his co-pilots on the flight.

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