Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) will repaint one of its Boeing 747-400 aircraft in original 1970s livery before bringing it back into service on domestic schedules in the coming months.
The Malaysian flag carrier, which was restructured in a $6 billion ($2.7 billion) government bailout last year, has three Boeing aircraft in storage, and is to bring at least one back into service by end April this year, the airline said.
“The newly liveried aircraft, bringing the spirit of Malaysia Airlines’ proud history to local communities, will be flying selected domestic destinations,” it said.
A significant drop in the price of jet fuel has meant many regional carriers—including Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines and Cathay Pacific—are still running old-generation widebody aircraft to minimize costs.
Indonesian carrier Lion Air also pioneered the use of widebody aircraft on local Asian schedules last year, looking at employing Airbus A330s on heavily trafficked domestic routes.
MAB CCO Paul Simmons said the “retro livery” aircraft will initially be used as an operational spare aircraft to be assigned on an ad hoc basis to destinations, as and when required.
The carrier, which is due to take delivery of its first Airbus A350-900 in October 2017, has also been reportedly looking at cutting its fleet of Airbus A380 aircraft.