Malaysia's Raya Airways Adds B767-200 Freighter; Eyes Further Fleet and Route Expansion

Malaysia's national designated cargo carrier, Raya Airways has taken delivery of a B767-200 freighter, which joins Raya Airways' current fleet of two B727-200Fs and one B757-200F.

Raya Airways commercial director, Lee Shashitheren  -  courtesy Raya
Raya Airways commercial director, Lee Shashitheren - courtesy Raya

The latest addition is key to an ambitious expansion plan by the full freighter operator to expand its predominantly intra-Asian network with destinations such as Shanghai, New Delhi, Mumbai, Tokyo's Narita Airport and Korea's Incheon by the end of this year. India's Hyderabad could also become a new destination, as the carrier is keen to get involved in the transport of pharmaceutical products. Except for its domestic services, Raya plans to work through a network of general sales agents in the countries it plans to fly to.

Moving to KLIA
Raya Airways is currently based at Subang Airport, near Kuala Lumpur, but commercial director, Lee Shashitheren, disclosed at the World Cargo Symposium in Berlin last week that the company has decided to relocate its entire operations to new facilities at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). He declined to provide specifics about the level of the investment in the new facilities.
Shashitheren said the carrier plans to add two more freighters before the end of this year: one B757-200F and another B767-200F. He said the two aging B727-200Fs would remain operational for at least another two years although the aircraft are banned from operating into Hong Kong's Chek Lap Kok airport.

Partnering with DHL
“The latest delivery highlights the growing demand for capacity to serve the intra-Asian region with a modern and efficient fleet," Shashitheren said, adding that the new addition is “an important step in keeping the revenue potential on the positive while controlling our cost levels.”
Raya Airways currently operates its B757F to Hong Kong on behalf of DHL, while it also serves Singapore, Jakarta and Hanoi in addition to domestic routes to East and West Malaysia. According to Shashitheren, the operations for DHL represent about 50% of its total freighter activities, with the rest taken up by general freight.
The carrier was established in 1993 as Transmile Air Services and rebranded itself as Raya Airways in 2013, following its exit from the Transmile Group.

Nol van Fenema

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