Malaysia Airlines Launches A New A380 Airline Exclusively For Pilgrimages

Malaysia Airlines has launched a new airline called Amal, that will run Malaysia A380 flights from South East Asia to Saudi Arabia for Islamic Pilgrimage.

Whilst services have been running since October last year, this is the official offering onto the marketplace as it’s own airline.

Malaysia Airlines A380

What are the details?

Originally under Malaysia Airlines, the project was called Operation Hope. Its focus will be to transport pilgrims of Hajj and Umrah to Jeddah and Madinah.

They plan to operate three services a week from Malaysia, and then expand out to Thailand and Indonesia. Thailand has a small Muslim minority, but Mayalsia is confident that they could transport up to 13,000 people a year. Indonesia, on the other hand, has a massive population and is underserved, according to the Malaysia Airlines CEO, Izham Ismail.

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Their goal is to win up to 60% of the local marketplace in the next two years, as well as break into other countries in South East Asia. Malaysia has not given any goals for Thailand, but they have mentioned their aim to reach 10% market share in Indonesia, before expanding onwards.

“The aim is to establish an air transport system and infrastructure dedicated for Hajj and Umrah for Muslims not just from these three countries but also other ASEAN countries” – Malaysia Aviation Group CEO Izham Ismail

They will also be focusing on providing a premium service for these pilgrims, who generally receive a very basic offering in the current marketplace. By using an A380, Malaysia will be able to offer a level of service unrivaled by other carriers, especially in the premium marketplace.

Source: Malaysian

The A380 is equipped with 486 economy seats (with all the luxuries of a flag carrier, such as entertainment and meals), 66 lie-flat business class seats and 8 business class suites for those guests looking for ultimate privacy.

business class Malaysia
The ‘premium business suite’ on Malaysian Airlines A380

It is not clear at this stage if this new ‘airline’ will actually have their own A380s, or more likely, borrow an A380 from Malaysia Airlines when they need it. These borrowed aircraft will not be branded with the companies logo (so essentially wet-leasing the aircraft).

Malaysia Airlines A380.

Malaysia intends to launch this brand first through business to business marketing, targeting travel agencies and other travel booking firms to reach out executives and high wealth individuals.

“As Saudi Arabia aims to quadruple the number of pilgrims to 30 million by 2030, Amal is honoured to play a part in making Saudi Vision 2030 a great success,” – Izham Ismail

What do you think of Malaysia’s plans? Let us know in the comments!

  1. Branding in Malaysia Airlines seems a bit of a “mish-mash”. Sometimes, one may be forgiven to ask whether there is any coordination in the branding of the airline. This included lack of standardization of liveries for their planes.

    Their A380 has a completely different design and colour from the rest of the fleet. Even for the rest of the fleet, they have a couple of liveries, from their beautiful “Negara Ku” (“My country” in Malay), one with 1972 retro livery, and those with OneWorld livery, to the rather bland red, blue and white design for the rest of their fleet.

    Then, when the company was reformed from Malaysia Airlines System (MAS) to a “new” Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB), the airline colours remained the same. The crew uniforms were the same. Some Malaysians still refer the airline to the old name of MAS instead of MAB. They could not see any differences apart from jobs being lost and routes being cut.

    And of course, so many different people taking the CEO seat so frequently is a bit confusing to customers as once. Does Malaysia Airlines have any long-term direction?

    And now, they have their “spin-off” called Amanah. So what is the difference between this and their previous “Haj” (pilgrim flights)? They still use the same aircraft, same colours (apart from a small name “Amanah” under the cockpit window), and the same crew (perhaps with a different all brown uniform).
    Would the food served with cutlery using the Amanah brand, or would it still have “Malaysia Airlines” on it?

    Will Amanah be a success? Hope so. As Malaysia Airlines has had quite a number of challenges in the past, they deserve a bit of good fortune. However, there are other competitors in the market too, so it will not be a “roll over” for it .


    So much has changed since MAS/MAB airline started. Some Airline enthusiasts may know that Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines were once a SINGLE AIRLINE, called Malaysia-Singapore Airlines (MSA). Due to politics between Malaysia and Singapore, and when Singapore left the Federation of Malaysia in 1966, MSA was split into Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines. Since then, the fortunes of the two subsequent airlines could not have been more different.

  2. the fastest way to earn money… a good business module since they have been financially distressed lately… easiest way to earn profit since Asean has more muslim populations than others

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