Coincidence can be cruel, and in the case of Malaysia Airlines, it really couldn’t get much crueler. After losing Flight 370 in the Indian Ocean earlier this year, the flag carrier of Malaysia saw another of its jets (MH17) shot down over the volatile border region between Ukraine and Russia. The second incident could have happened to any airline flying over the space at the wrong time, but the jury of public opinion has delivered a verdict: Malaysia Airlines is now on the blacklist of most travelers.
Now, the company is being forced to slash 6,000 of its 20,000 employees, having been losing around $1.6 million per day, and will also need to cut routes along the way. By all accounts, Malaysia Airlines is in crisis mode.
The silver lining to Malaysia Airline’s recent misfortunes is that it has left prices low, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. And opportunities for upgrades at an all-time high — social media posts are show how jets are near-empty. Even if you don’t score that upgrade, there’s a better than average chance that you’ll get multiple seats to yourself on long haul flights.
Statistically, you’re no worse off flying Malaysia Airlines between Sydney and Australia than any other carrier. The risk of an accident happening is roughly the same no matter what operating carrier you choose. If you’re comfortable shrugging off the stigma, here are some of the deals you’ll find:
For the week of September 23, a roundtrip flight between Sydney and Kuala Lumpur is just over $700 on Malaysia Airlines, while Virgin Australia is asking over double. For those same dates on the week of September 23, Malaysia Airlines is charging $244 for a roundtrip flight between Kuala Lumpur and Bali — while Singapore Airlines and China Southern each want over $1,000. Or if you want to hop over to Colombo, Sri Lanka? We found ticket $150 cheaper compared to other non-low cost rivals.
Because the Malaysian government is the airline’s majority stakeholder — and has given the airline $2 billion in bailout money — there’s not a great risk of it ceasing operations in the near future. Still, the deeply discounted rates aren’t sustainable, so we suggest you nab them fast. If you’re truly worried, look into what’s known as scheduled airline failure, since typical coverage won’t help you if a company goes under.
You might get some strange looks from friends and family, but opting for a deal on Malaysia Airlines might be the smartest play you could make if planning travel across its route map.