“Whilst Malaysia Airlines has a long history in Los Angeles, this route is no longer economically viable,” said MAS group CEO, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya.
“The factors contributing to this negative situation today include over-capacity and competition resulting in lower yields, high cost of operating the B777 aircraft and pressure from continued increases in fuel costs. These are adding further pressure to the expenses of Malaysia Airlines group, which we are continuously evaluating,” he added.
The end of the KL-LAX route follows Singapore Airlines’ recent decision to cut its flights to LAX and New York, as rising costs hinder the ability of airlines to operate ultra-long-haul services profitably.
MAS’ latest route rationalisation plan comes just two years after the airline slashed its long-haul services to Rome, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Buenos Aires, as part of its first major cost-cutting plan.
This strategy initially appeared to be paying off for MAS, but rising costs and a weakening Malaysian ringgit have hurt the airline in 2013. For the first nine months of last year, MAS registered a net loss of MYR830 million (US$249m).
Despite losing its only route to North America, MAS said it would leverage its recent membership of the oneworld alliance to continue serving the continent. Codeshare agreements with JAL and American Airlines will give passengers access to a series of destinations in the US and Canada, via hubs in Europe and Japan.