Malaysia Airlines in early talks to buy 35-40 long-range jets

PARIS: Malaysia Airlines is in early negotiations with Airbus and Boeing for the purchase of 35-40 new long-range jets, its chief executive said on Wednesday.

Peter Bellew told Reuters the restructured Malaysian carrier was interested either in Boeing 787-9 or Airbus A330-900neo aircraft, but did not believe either manufacturer was yet offering the right price or delivery schedule.

Malaysia Airlines is meanwhile bringing in six second-hand Airbus A330s, which are available at attractive prices, he said at the Paris Airshow.

That comes as the airline remains short of capacity to meet its short-term needs and to meet expansion such as the availability of a second slot at Shanghai, China.

"We just need lift," Bellew said.

He was speaking shortly after agreeing to convert orders for 10 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft into newly launched 737 MAX 10.

The order for 10 of the latest variant is worth U$1.25 billion (S$1.7 billion) at list prices.