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.

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!