Malaysia has a new start-up airline coming soon to the southeast Asian travel market. The airline goes by the name Love2Fly, and has recently taken delivery of its first aircraft: a Boeing 737-800. According to CH-Aviation, the airline startup will also be welcoming a second 737-800 in the near future. Sources report that the airline is currently in the process of securing its Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC). It expects to begin commercial flights later this year.
Sources report that Love2Fly’s legal name is registered as M Jets International Sdn Bhd. Without an official website of its own, M Jets’ facebook page shows signs of recent recruitment. On the page, several posts can be seen looking for Penang-based cabin crew as well as an IT intern. Cabin crew interviews apparently took place in December of 2018. In fact, the airline also seems to be looking for Captains and First Officers to pilot its aircraft.
The airline’s fleet
CH-Aviation reports that the new airline has acquired its first two aircraft – Boeing 737-800s – from a company by the name of San Clemente Leasing. The mysterious leasing company lacks a website and has very little internet presence. However, with the registration numbers reported by CH-Aviation (9M-LOV and 9M-MJI), AirFleets shows that both aircraft once flew with Ukrainian International Airlines.
AirFleets records show that both jets have been with Ukraine International Airlines since coming off the factory line in 2009 with 9M-MJI temporarily flying with Cordendon Dutch Airlines for several months in 2014, then returning to Ukrainian. These 10-year-old jets would have a maximum capacity of 189 passengers according to Boeing’s website.
The airline’s new home
Based on the recruiting posts on M Jets’ facebook page, it appears the new airline will be based in the Malaysian island-city of Penang (PEN) in the country’s north. Little information is available on the airline but it is likely that it will be a low-cost carrier flying to other popular southeast Asian holiday destinations.
Cities might include Siem Reap (Cambodia), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), and Chiang Mai (Thailand). In fact, based on the Boeing 737-800’s range, the airline could fly to destinations as far as Japan, India, and Western Australia. Competing airlines will include low-cost behemoth Air Asia, as well as Malaysia Airlines’ affiliate ‘Firefly’, and Malindo Air.
It is an interesting time to be starting up an airline. 2019 has seen a number of airlines collapse – including the bankruptcy of Iceland’s WOW Air and large UK leisure carrier Thomas Cook. However, Southeast Asia may present different opportunities as well as unique challenges!
Given how well-established the competition (such as Air Asia) is, do you think Love2Fly will be able to survive and challenge the incumbents in the region? We’d love to get your opinion – let us know by leaving a comment!
We reached out M Jets International for comment but have not received a response as of publishing this article.