The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has just downgraded Malaysia’s aviation safety rating, from a Category 1 to a Category 2. Malaysia’s aviation safety downgrade makes Asia the region with the most markets where airlines are restricted from U.S airspace, joining Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Curacao, Ghana and Thailand. 

The FAA’s decision banning the country’s carriers from setting up new flights to anywhere between New York and San Franciso is cited with the deficiencies by the nation’s civil aviation authority in areas ranging from technical expertise to record keeping. Category 2 rating means, air carriers from that country cannot initiate new service to the United States. There are restrictions to current levels of existing service to the US while corrective actions are underway and there will be additional inspections if the airline flies to the US. 

This denotation does not necessarily suggest that Malaysia’s airlines are unsafe, rather it infers that there is an oversight on the part of the airline by the government. The FAA assessment is based on International Civil Aviation Organisation safety standards and focuses on the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia, not on individual airlines. 

FAA’s decision for the airline just means that now they cannot open new routes to the US or code-share with any American carriers. It also means Malaysia’s aircraft will be subjected to more close monitoring at US airports. “Its codeshare agreements to fly routes to the United States will stay at existing levels, subject to their partner airline’s own assessments. Passengers flying to the United States through its (Malaysia Airlines) partners in the Oneworld airlines alliance”- commented the Carrier. 

This change in safety status, however, could now disrupt other carriers such as AirAsia. AirAsia X’s plan to add service to the US mainland as soon as 2021. The carrier has been planning new service to California’s Bay Area — either Oakland (OAK), San Francisco (SFO) or San Jose (SJC) airports — from Japan with its new Airbus A330neo jets by the year 2021, thus putting these routes in jeopardy. 

Share

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here