MASwings Sdn Bhd (doing business as MASwings) is a regional airline operating the Rural Air Services (RAS) in East Malaysia. It took over the routes operated by FlyAsianXpress (2006-2007) and the RAS flights by Malaysia Airlines (1965-2006), both being the successors of Borneo Airways (1953-1965). The first flight was on 1 October 2007, which is also the anniversary of the founding of Malaysia Airlines in 1972.[1]

IATA ICAO Callsign
FoundedOctober 1, 2007 (2007-10-01)
Operating bases
Frequent-flyer programEnrich
Fleet size16
Parent companyMalaysia Airlines
HeadquartersKota Kinabalu International Airport
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
Key peopleCaptain Nasaruddin A. Bakar (COO)

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 subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines.


Initial services

The airline began its operation on 1 October 2007, concentrating on secondary and tertiary routes within the Malaysian Borneo, inheriting the 22 destinations previously operated by Fly Asian Xpress. During its launch, the airline operated 4 50-seater Fokker 50 and 4 19-seater Twin Otter aircraft.[4]

International expansion

A FlyAsianXpress DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft. The short-lived airline inherited the routes operated Rural Air Service by Malaysian Airlines between 2006-2007. Its operations were then continued by government-owned MASwings.

On 2 December 2009, The Star reported that MASwings planned to begin flying to the Philippines, Kalimantan and Sulawesi by the middle of 2010.[5] 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.[6][7] On 21 December 2010, MASwings' Managing Director Mohd Salleh Ahmad Tabrani confirmed these routes and was waiting for the approval of the relevant authorities.[8]

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."[9][10]

A 50-seater Fokker 50 operated by MASWings in 2007. The last Fokker-50 was retired by the airline in April 2010 and its services have now been superseded by the larger ATR-72.

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.[11][12]

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.[13]

Planned expansion as a regional leisure airline

The airline also considered jet-operations using 737 jet aircraft, enabling the airline to commenced routes to Davao in the Philippines, together with Makassar and Manado in Indonesia, as well as several Chinese destinations from Kota Kinabalu.[14][15]


Current fleet

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

As of July 2022, MASwings operates the following aircraft:[16][17]

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

Former fleet

MASWings historical fleet
Aircraft Total Passengers Introduced Retired Replacement Notes
ATR 72-600 1 70 2013 2017 None
De Havilland Canada DHC-6-300 Twin Otter 4 20 2007 2013 Viking Air DHC-6-400 Twin Otter Leased from FlyAsianXpress
Fokker 50 4 50 2007 2010 ATR 72-500

Fleet replacement

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 228NG (New Generation) and GECI SK-105 Skylander.[18] However, with the Skylander project cancelled, it is likely that the candidates would be the Dornier 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.[19]

On 25 July 2013, MASwings received its first ATR 72-600.[20] However, due to cost reasons, all ATR 72-600s later retired from active duties and stored.


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

Terminated Destinations

Awards and recognitions

  • 2018: The Malaysia Book of Records for "Longest Operating Hours for Rural Air Services"[21]
  • 2018: The Malaysia Book of Records for "Most Number of Passengers Transported via Rural Air Services"[21]

Incidents and accidents

  • 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.[22][23][24]


  1. "MAS launches regional carrier MASWings" Flight Global, 01/10/07
  2. "Contact Us Archived 20 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine." 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 - Our Background
  5. MASwings embarks on expansion plan The Star dated 2 December 2009, read on 29 January 2012]
  6. MASwings mulls flying to Brunei, Bimp-Eaga Archived 10 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine The Brunei Times dated 26 June 2010, read on 29 January 2012
  7. MASwings eyes BIMP-EAGA this year The Star dated 26 June 2010, read on 29 January 2012]
  8. MASwings awaits nod of regulators to serve Bimp-Eaga Archived 24 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine The Brunei Times dated 21 December 2010, read on 29 January 2012
  9. MASwings to launch Eaga operations by early 2012 Archived 10 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine The Brunei Times dated 22 November 2011, read on 29 January 2012
  10. MASwings to launch the first phase of its BIMP-EAGA operations The Star dated 21 November 2011, read on 29 January 2012
  11. MASwings direct flights to BIMP-EAGA in Feb Archived 10 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine The Brunei Times dated 5 December 2011, read on 29 January 2012
  12. MASwings to begin flying within BIMP-EAGA in February The Star dated 5 December 2011, read on 29 January 2012
  13. MASwings unveils new routes to capture regional market The Star dated 16 December 2011, read on 29 January 2012
  14. "Malaysia's MASwings to repositioned as a budget carrier". CH Aviation. 27 November 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2020.
  15. "MASwings eyes jet operations by 2013". The Star. 10 May 2012. Retrieved 10 June 2020.
  16. "Global Airline Guide 2019 (Part One)". Airliner World. October 2019: 20.
  17. "MASwings Fleet Details and History".
  18. "MASwing Akan Tukar Pesawat Twin Otter Dengan Pesawat Baru Dalam Masa Terdekat". Bernama. 28 February 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
  19. "MASwings' six new Twin Otters to operate from mid-year". The Borneo Post. 15 January 2013. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
  20. "MASwings receives first ATR 72-600". Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  21. Mohd Izham Unnip Abdullah (8 August 2018). "MASwings sets 2 rural service records". New Straits Times. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  22. Accident: MASWings DHC6 at Kudat on Oct 10th 2013, impacted house The Aviation Herald. Retrieved 10 October 2013
  23. Co-pilot of MASWings plane crash succumbs to injuries (Update) Retrieved 10 October 2013
  24. UPDATE: Co-pilot, passenger die in MASWings' crash in Kudat Retrieved 10 October 2013
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