Malaysia aims to add US flights after safety rating boost
The US Federal Aviation Administration has upgraded Malaysia's air safety rating to Category 1, allowing the country's carriers to expand flights to the United States after a three-year hiatus, Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong said on Saturday (Oct 1).
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Wee said the move will bolster tourism and economic growth in Malaysia, which opened up from pandemic shutdowns in April.
“With the return to Category 1, our airlines can now mount new flights to the US and have code sharing with American carriers. There is no more barrier now,” said Wee, who was in Montreal for an ICAO assembly. “This is good news after the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Riad Asmat, CEO of low-cost carrier AirAsia Malaysia, said it was a “very good start.” He said AirAsia, currently the only Malaysian carrier that flies to the United States - from Kuala Lumpur to Honolulu - will seek opportunities to expand in the US
The FAA lowered Malaysia's rating in November 2019 to Category 2 due to non-compliance with safety standards. The FAA identified deficiencies in areas including technical expertise, record keeping and inspection procedures.
Under the FAA system, countries are listed either as Category 1, which meets International Civil Aviation Organization standards, or Category 2, which doesn't meet standards.