Malaysia Airlines Boosts Japan Flying Following Easing Of Entry Rules

CEO Izham Ismail wants to ‘rebuild traffic between the two nations quickly.’

Credit: Rob Finlayson

Malaysia Airlines, reacting to the Japanese government relaxing restrictive COVID-19 entry rules on Oct. 11, is increasing capacity on three routes to Japan. 

From Nov. 1, oneworld’s Malaysia Airlines will up flight frequencies on its Kuala Lumpur (KUL)-Tokyo Haneda (HND) route from 2X-weekly to 3X-weekly. Fellow oneworld member Japan Airlines (JAL) places its code on Malaysia Airlines’ KUL-HND flights, while Malaysia Airlines passengers are able to connect to JAL domestic flights beyond HND.

Also on Nov. 1, frequencies on Malaysia Airlines’ KUL-Tokyo Narita (NRT) service will rise from 5X-weekly to daily.

Additionally, the carrier revealed it has already boosted frequencies on the KUL-Osaka (KIX) route from 3X- to 5X-weekly.

The airline said the routes will be operated with a mix of Airbus A330 and A350 aircraft.  

"We are encouraged by the healthy uptick in forward bookings on flights to Haneda after the successful launch of our 2X-weekly service in August this year,” Malaysia Airlines CEO Izham Ismail said in a statement. “It is timely to increase the frequency now to accommodate the surge in passenger demand for travel to Japan following the opening of the country’s border to business and leisure travelers.”

He added: “Our operation into Osaka has also gained good traction, with current capacity [on the route] standing at 70% of pre-pandemic level.” 

Ismail said Malaysia Airlines aims to “rebuild traffic between the two nations quickly.”

Japan earlier this month became one the last countries in the world to largely reopen its borders. Malaysia ended most of its restrictions on April 1, 2022.