|Founded||1 November 2007|
|Company slogan||Your Airline|
|Parent company||Malaysia Airlines|
|Headquarters||Kota Kinabalu International Airport|
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
|Key people||Aminuddin Zakaria (CEO)|
MASwings Sdn Bhd (doing business as MASwings) is a regional airline operating the Rural Air Services (RAS) in East Malaysia. It took over the RAS previously operated by FlyAsianXpress. The first flight was on 1 October 2007, which is also the anniversary of the founding of Malaysia Airlines in 1972. Its headquarters are located in MAS/MASwings Administration Building, Kota Kinabalu International Airport, Sabah. Previously its head office was located in the Beautiful Jade Centre in Miri.
MASwings is a wholly owned subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines.
On 2 December 2009, The Star reported that MASwings planned to begin flying to the Philippines, Kalimantan and Sulawesi by the middle of 2010. However, due to certain circumstances, they could not begin flying on some these routes yet, with the exception of Pontianak, Balikpapan and Tarakan, in the Kalimantan region.
On 26 June 2010, MASwings had been exploring the possibility of serving regional routes on the Brunei Indonesia Malaysia Philippines-East Asian Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), specifically Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei, Cebu and Davao in the Philippines, Pontianak, Balikpapan and Tarakan in Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Irian Jaya, Indonesia. On 21 December 2010, MASwings' Managing Director Mohd Salleh Ahmad Tabrani confirmed these routes and was waiting for the approval of the relevant authorities.
Exactly 11 months later, on 26 May 2011, during a lunch session with the press, the new Managing Director for MASwings, Datuk Capt Mohd Nawawi Awang, said in a statement that he is confident that the first phase of the expansion plan, between Kota Kinabalu and Bandar Seri Begawan, and between Kuching and Pontianak, will take off by July 2011. He also said that if the flights were successful, they will also introduce routes from Kota Kinabalu to Tawau and Tarakan and from Kuching to Mulu and Bandar Seri Begawan.
On 22 June 2011, Brunei's national carrier Royal Brunei Airlines announced in a press release that flights between Brunei and Kuching will be suspended after the last scheduled flight in July 2011, along with suspension of services between Auckland, Brisbane, Perth and Ho Chi Minh City in October 2011. This was part of the airline's "comprehensive and sustainable plan to improve its operations, financial performance and customer service experience". Royal Brunei Airlines' Deputy Chairman Dermot Mannion said that the reduction of services is a difficult decision for the airline but also said that it was "the first step towards creating a stronger foundation that will allow the airline to enhance value customers, employees and society". The suspension of these services immediately prompted MASwings to restart routes between Brunei and Sarawak because the suspension will have adverse effect on Sarawak's tourism as Brunei International Airport is the main regional transit hub for flights between Sabah and Sarawak with international destinations.
On 15 July 2011, MASwings announced that if everything goes as planned, the airline will begin flying between Kota Kinabalu and Bandar Seri Begawan, and between Kuching and Pontianak in October 2011.
However, on 11 September 2011, it was reported that Malaysia's Ministry of Transport has yet to give approval for MASwings to begin flying on the BIMP-EAGA region, postponing the launch date for the routes. Sarawak was not being served since RBA's suspension of flights between Bandar Seri Begawan and Kuching. On 12 September 2011, in an immediate reaction to the delay, BIMP-EAGA's Malaysia Tourism Council chairman, Datuk Wee Hong Seng, said the council "cannot understand why it (the approval) is taking so long". At that time, MASwings was trying to secure the approval to operate flights between Brunei and Kuching following the cancellation of the flights originally operated by Royal Brunei Airlines. Datuk Wee also said that the slow decision has nothing to do with the policies of the three other countries, that is Brunei, Indonesia and the Philippines.
On 29 September 2011, it was reported that Sarawak wanted the federal government to turn MASwings into a regional airline for the BIMP-EAGA region.
On 20 November 2011, during MASwings' fourth anniversary dinner in Kota Kinabalu, CEO Capt Mohd Nawawi Awang announced that the first phase of MASwings' BIMP-EAGA expansion plan will begin in early 2012, with Brunei and Kalimantan as its launching destinations. He said that "the foray into international destinations, would be another milestone in the airlines' history." He also added that it will "pave the way for many more people to travel into Sabah and Sarawak while further intensifying tourist arrivals and business opportunities."
MASwings announced on 5 December 2011 that the Ministry of Transport of Malaysia had approved MASwings' application to fly in the BIMP-EAGA region and the first flights will commence on 1 February 2012.
MASwings unveiled the first four flights in the BIMP-EAGA region on 16 December 2011. The Kota Kinabalu-Bandar Seri Begawan route and the Kuching-Bandar Seri Begawan route will begin on 1 February 2012, while the Kuching-Pontianak route and the Tawau-Tarakan route will begin on 6 and 13 February 2012 respectively. MASwings will provide 14 flights weekly on the Kota Kinabalu-Bandar Seri Begawan route, 7 flights weekly on the Kuching-Pontianak route, and 3 flights weekly on the Kuching-Bandar Seri Begawan route and the Tawau-Tarakan route.
The final announcement for the first phase of the BIMP-EAGA regional expansion came on 19 January 2012 with the flight tariff for the routes. Fares for the Kota Kinabalu-Bandar Seri Begawan route begins from MYR 33/BND 59 one-way, Kuching-Bandar Seri Begawan route from MYR 233/BND 99 one-way, Kuching-Pontianak route from MYR 33/USD 26 one-way and Tawau-Tarakan route from MYR 33/USD 14 one-way. MASwings will offer introductory fares for the service launch of up to 70 percent of the normal fares until 29 February 2012.
On 1 February 2012, three MASwings planes landed at Brunei International Airport for the very first time. This marked the reintroduction of the Bandar Seri Begawan-Kuching route and the addition of 2 daily flights on the Bandar Seri Begawan-Kota Kinabalu route, and also the first MASwings international destination. MASwings Managing Director Datuk Capt Mohd Nawawi Awang said in a press conference in The Airport Restaurant that the airline has "explored the potential and indication is very good". He added that MASwings may even fly to Kuching daily in the future. MASwings is now looking into the possibility to fly from Bandar Seri Begawan to Mulu, Bandar Seri Begawan to Kuching via Mulu and Bandar Seri Begawan to Miri.
On 15 January 2013, the governments of Sarawak and Sabah have withdrawn their initial plans to buy stakes in MASwings. and in a report by The Borneo Post dated 24 January 2017, Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Abang Openg officially announcing that Sarawak Government has given up on MASwings, citing "stalling by parent company MAB in takeover negotiation process forces state to pull out".
As of 26 March 2018, the MASwings fleet consists of the following aircraft:
On 9 November 2007, MASwings (through its parent company Malaysia Airlines) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the purchase of 7 ATR 72-500s with options for 3 additional aircraft to expand its services in the states of Sabah and Sarawak in East Malaysia. MASwings received delivery of the first aircraft in 2008, second 6 aircraft in 2009 and remaining 3 (optional) by 2010. On 25 April 2010, its last F50 (9M-MGF) was retired from service.
On 28 February 2012, MASwings made an announcement that they will be replacing their ageing Twin Otters with newer planes, as the request had been sent to the Ministry of Transportation in 2011, and now awaiting final approval. The candidates for the replacement were Viking Air DHC-6 Series 400, Dornier Do 228NG (New Generation) and GECI SK-105 Skylander. However, with the Skylander project cancelled, it is likely that the candidates would be the Do 228NG and the Twin Otter Series 400.
On 18 December 2012, MASwings' parent company, Malaysia Airlines, ordered 36 ATR 72-600 for its subsidiaries. 16 of the ordered aircraft will be delivered to MASwings, while the remaining 20 will enter service with Firefly. For the replacement of the Twin Otter Series 300, six brand-new Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft will enter service in mid-2013.
On 25 July 2013, MASwings received its first ATR 72-600. However, due to cost reasons, all ATR 72-600s later retired from active duties and stored.
MASwings serve the following at August 2017: