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MASwings Logo 2015.png
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded1 November 2007; 12 years ago (2007-11-01)
Frequent-flyer programEnrich
Fleet size16
Parent companyMalaysia Airlines
HeadquartersKota Kinabalu International Airport
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
Key peopleAminuddin 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.[1] Its headquarters are located in MAS/MASwings Administration Building, Kota Kinabalu International Airport, Sabah.[2] Previously its head office was located in the Beautiful Jade Centre in Miri.[3]

MASwings is a wholly owned subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines.

Regional expansion[edit]

BIMP-EAGA (first phase)[edit]

On 2 December 2009, The Star reported that MASwings planned to begin flying to the Philippines, Kalimantan and Sulawesi by the middle of 2010.[4] 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.[5][6] On 21 December 2010, MASwings' Managing Director Mohd Salleh Ahmad Tabrani confirmed these routes and was waiting for the approval of the relevant authorities.[7]

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.[8]

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".[9] 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.[10]

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.[11] 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.[12][13]

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.[14]

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."[15][16]

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.[17][18]

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.[19]

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.[20]

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.[21]

On 15 January 2013, the governments of Sarawak and Sabah have withdrawn their initial plans to buy stakes in MASwings.[22] 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".[23]


Current fleet[edit]

MASwings ATR 72-500 getting ready for departure in Bintulu Airport.

As of August 2019, the MASwings fleet consists of the following aircraft:[24][25]

MASwings Fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
ATR 72-500
Viking Air DHC-6-400 Twin Otter
19 Used for rural areas
Total 16

Former fleet[edit]

  • 1 further ATR 72-600
  • Fokker 50
  • De Havilland Canada Twin Otter Series 300
MASwings Twin Otter 9M-MDL at Lawas airport

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.[26] 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.[27]

On 25 July 2013, MASwings received its first ATR 72-600.[28] However, due to cost reasons, all ATR 72-600s later retired from active duties and stored.


MASwings domestic route map. The single international route to Tarakan is not shown in the map

MASwings serve the following at August 2017:

 Malaysia Malaysia
 Indonesia Indonesia

  1. ^ Although Tanjung Manis now under the jurisdiction of Mukah Division, the airport still serves the part of the population of Sarikei.

Awards and recognitions[edit]

Incidents and accidents[edit]

  • 10 October 2013 — a de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter (9M-MDM), operating as MASwings Flight 3002 from Kota Kinabalu to Kudat, landed short of the runway at Kudat Airport. The aircraft impacted a house and was destroyed. This accident marks the first fatal incident for MASwings, where two people were confirmed dead, including the co-pilot.[30][31][32]


  1. ^ "MAS launches regional carrier MASWings" Flight Global, 01/10/07
  2. ^ "Contact Us." MASwings. Retrieved on 20 May 2014. "Ground Floor, MAS/MASwings Administration Building, Off Jalan Petagas, Kota Kinabalu International Airport, 88100 Kota Kinabalu"
  3. ^ Contact Us." MASwings. 11 October 2007. Retrieved on 21 December 2010. "MASwings Sdn. Bhd. 1st Floor, Lot 239, Beautiful Jade Centre, 98000 Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia"
  4. ^ MASwings embarks on expansion plan The Star dated 2 December 2009, read on 29 January 2012]
  5. ^ MASwings mulls flying to Brunei, Bimp-Eaga The Brunei Times dated 26 June 2010, read on 29 January 2012
  6. ^ MASwings eyes BIMP-EAGA this year The Star dated 26 June 2010, read on 29 January 2012]
  7. ^ MASwings awaits nod of regulators to serve Bimp-Eaga The Brunei Times dated 21 December 2010, read on 29 January 2012
  8. ^ MASwings set to fly to Brunei, Pontianak The Brunei Times dated 26 May 2011, read on 29 January 2012
  9. ^ RBA TO SUSPEND SERVICES TO SOME CITIES The Brunei Times dated 22 June 2011, read on 29 January 2012
  10. ^ MASwings eyes KK-Brunei route The Brunei Times dated 15 July 2011, read on 29 January 2012
  11. ^ Gov't urged to give MASWings rights to operate in Bimp-Eaga The Brunei Times dated 11 September 2011, read on 29 January 2012
  12. ^ MASWings not flying to Brunei upsets more quarters The Brunei Times dated 13 September 2011, read on 29 January 2012
  13. ^ MASwings not flying to Brunei upsets more quarters The Star dated 12 September 2011, read on 29 January 2012]
  14. ^ MASWings should be made Eaga airline: Sarawak The Brunei Times dated 29 September 2011, read on 29 January 2012
  15. ^ MASwings to launch Eaga operations by early 2012 The Brunei Times dated 22 November 2011, read on 29 January 2012
  16. ^ MASwings to launch the first phase of its BIMP-EAGA operations The Star dated 21 November 2011, read on 29 January 2012
  17. ^ MASwings direct flights to BIMP-EAGA in Feb The Brunei Times dated 5 December 2011, read on 29 January 2012
  18. ^ MASwings to begin flying within BIMP-EAGA in February The Star dated 5 December 2011, read on 29 January 2012
  19. ^ MASwings unveils new routes to capture regional market The Star dated 16 December 2011, read on 29 January 2012
  20. ^ "MASwings' KK, Kuching flights from Feb 1". The Brunei Times. 19 January 2012. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  21. ^ MASwings starts Kuching, KK flights to BSB Archived 10 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine The Brunei Times dated 2 February 2012, read on 2 February 2012
  22. ^ "Sarawak, Sabah scratch MASwings plans". 15 January 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
  23. ^ "Sarawak gives up on MASwings". The Borneo Post. 24 January 2017. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  24. ^ "Global Airline Guide 2019 (Part One)". Airliner World. October 2019: 20.
  25. ^ "MASwings Fleet Details and History".
  26. ^ "MASwing Akan Tukar Pesawat Twin Otter Dengan Pesawat Baru Dalam Masa Terdekat". Bernama. 28 February 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
  27. ^ "MASwings' six new Twin Otters to operate from mid-year". The Borneo Post. 15 January 2013. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
  28. ^ "MASwings receives first ATR 72-600". Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  29. ^ a b Mohd Izham Unnip Abdullah (8 August 2018). "MASwings sets 2 rural service records". New Straits Times. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  30. ^ Accident: MASWings DHC6 at Kudat on Oct 10th 2013, impacted house The Aviation Herald. Retrieved 10 October 2013
  31. ^ Co-pilot of MASWings plane crash succumbs to injuries (Update) Retrieved 10 October 2013
  32. ^ UPDATE: Co-pilot, passenger die in MASWings' crash in Kudat Retrieved 10 October 2013

External links[edit]