Malaysia Airlines Cuts Brisbane From Network

The airline’s nonstop route from Kuala Lumpur will end in March.

Credit: Rob Finlayson

Malaysia Airlines is cutting flights to Brisbane (BNE) at the end of the northern winter season as part of a route rationalization process.

Nonstop flights between Kuala Lumpur (KUL) and the Australian city will be suspended on March 27, 2023. The airline currently operates the route three times per week using Airbus A330-300 aircraft.

“After a thorough business review, we have made a difficult decision to suspend our operations into Brisbane to ensure we operate and utilize our fleet at an optimum level, as well as maximising revenue on every route we fly to, while facing strong headwinds from the continued increase in fuel cost, forex and interest rate,” Malaysia Airlines CEO Izham Ismail said.

Kuala Lumpur-Brisbane was resurrected by the oneworld alliance member in June 2018, almost three years after the carrier had previously axed flights. Service was again paused during the pandemic but resumed in January 2022.

Malaysia Airlines said it would continue flights to four other existing destinations in Australia—Adelaide (ADL), Melbourne (MEL), Perth (PER) and Sydney (SYD)—providing up to 43 services a week from Malaysia to the country.

It added that passengers would be able to connect from Sydney and Melbourne to Brisbane via its codeshare with Qantas. However, the carrier’s exit from the Kuala Lumpur-Brisbane market will leave the cities unserved nonstop.

“Our forward booking to other Australian cities is very encouraging with strong demand up to and beyond the first quarter of 2023, with forward bookings significantly ahead of the same period in 2019,” Ismail said.

Ismail added that the airline’s overall capacity has returned to 76% of pre-pandemic levels and expects to increase the figure to 82% by the end of the year.