Malaysia regains its ICAO rating removed by removed by US Federal Aviation Administrator (FAA) on November 11, 2019. The downgrade at that time to Category 2, meant reciprocal code-sharing arrangements between US carriers and any Malaysian-based airline were disallowed. ICAO ratings do not refer to individual airlines, but the regulating authority of the country concerned, in this case, Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM).
ICAO rating implications
Airlines in Malaysia have applauded the reinstatement of Malaysia’s FAA air-safety ranking to Category 1 announced by the Ministry of Transport on 1st October 2022. As a Category 2 listing flags deficiencies technical expertise, trained personnel, record-keeping, and inspection procedures, the aviation authority and airlines have used their Covid-19 ‘downtime’ to remedy any issues. This was noted by AirAsia as the industry resets following the pandemic, coming at a good time with travel demand picking up. AirAsia X is currently the only airline in the group offering direct services to Honolulu Hawaii, US via Osaka, Japan.
Regaining the category 1 ICAO rating also bodes well for the Group’s burgeoning maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) subsidiary, Asia Digital Engineering (ADE) boosting its service for regional and potentially other international airlines.
….. (The) Category 1 safety rating will not only allow us to expand our future network plans but also stabilise the country’s aviation industry as a whole. Bo Lingam, Group CEO of AirAsia Aviation Group Ltd
Batik Air, recently rebranded from the original Malindo Air, sees the ICAO rating reinstatement as timely, allowing Malaysia to boost its tourism efforts as countries lift travel restrictions. The airline remains committed in supporting CAAM in meeting ICAO standards, ensure that Malaysia remains in the Category 1 rating.
….. A return to Category 1 is certainly good news for Malaysia and Malaysian carriers as this enables Batik Air to expand our services to new destinations and more importantly secure the necessary approvals more speedily. CEO of Batik Air Malaysia, Capt Mushafiz Bin Mustafa Bakri
The Malaysia Airlines Group (MAG) noted that they supported Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) as part of a Task Force formed to identify root causes, corrective action plans, and corrective measures in response to the downgrade in 2019.
…… MAG is confident that CAAM under the leadership of Captain Chester Voon and the rest of the management team, will be able to make significant contributions to the development of civil aviation’s safety and security in Malaysia. Malaysia Airlines Group