By byeangel from Tsingtao, China - Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-8H6(WL) 9M-MLM, CC BY-SA 2.0,
By byeangel from Tsingtao, ChinaMalaysia Airlines Boeing 737-8H6(WL) 9M-MLM, CC BY-SA 2.0, Source: Wikimedia

Malaysia Airlines today launched rapid expansion into China. The Prime Minister of Malaysia, YAB Dato’ Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak, announced in Beijing today that the airline will serve 8 new destinations and 11 new routes with 35 additional frequencies between Malaysia and China beginning in early 2017.

Malaysia Airlines’ CEO Peter Bellew said, “Malaysia Airlines plans to triple our Chinese business over the next five years.  I see potential for direct flights to 20 Chinese cities from Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching by 2019. We have huge confidence in China. The improved connectivity will foster deeper business links between the two nations.  Malaysians relish the business opportunities and tourism experience in China.  The Chinese tourist market to Malaysia is growing rapidly due to the shared food, language and cultural connections.

In addition to this initial growth, we will promote tourism in Malaysia and China through seasonal or ad-hoc services to key leisure markets such as Langkawi, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu.  Six of our new Chinese cities have never been served directly by a Malaysian Airline,” he added.

Malaysia Airlines will be flying to the following destinations in China in the first half of 2017:


  Origin Destination Start Weekly Freq
New Routes Kuala Lumpur Haikou Dec-16 2
Kuala Lumpur Nanjing Apr-17 3
Kuala Lumpur Fuzhou Apr-17 3
Kuala Lumpur Wuhan Aug-17 3
Kuala Lumpur Chengdu* Oct-17 5
Kuala Lumpur Chongqing* Oct-17 3
Kota Kinabalu Tianjin TBD 2
Penang Shenzhen* Aug-17 3
Penang Shanghai* Aug-17 4
Existing Routes Kuala Lumpur Shanghai* Apr-17 Increase from 7x to 14x weekly
Kuala Lumpur Hong Kong Jan-17 Upgauge of MH 72/73 to A330

*Subject to slot availability.

The airline will also add a second daily flight between Kuala Lumpur and Shanghai subject to slots in April 2017.  This follows the airline’s recent announcement on the service upgrade to its morning Kuala Lumpur-Hong Kong sector from the Boeing 737 to the Airbus 330.