This winter, Batik Air will serve Melbourne 2x daily. Malaysia’s Batik Air Malaysia, formerly Malindo Air, has added a second daily flight between Kuala Lumpur and Melbourne.
While the 1st stop en route in Denpasar Bali, its new service is nonstop and will utilize the B737 MAX 8. Significantly, it’ll take the crown as the world’s new longest nonstop flight by the MAX 8.
According to OAG and Batik Air’s booking engine, the nonstop will operate from Malaysia between December 6th and February 6th, capturing peak demand during the Southern Hemisphere summer season.
It is scheduled as follows, with all times local, with details also provided of its existing 1x daily in these 3 months. Notice that 4 flights will come back to Kuala Lumpur at 02:40.
Kuala Lumpur to Melbourne:
- OD173, 09:10-20:05, 4x weekly nonstop (7h 55m block time) ← new
- OD177, 16:55-06:40+1 1x daily via Denpasar Bali (10h 45m) ← existing
- OD175, 19:25-06:20+1, 3x weekly nonstop (7h 55m) ← new
Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur:
- OD176, 07:20-12:55, 3x weekly nonstop (8h 35m) ← new
- OD178, 08:00-15:30 1x daily via Denpasar Bali (10h 45m) ← existing
- OD174, 21:05-02:40+1, 4x weekly nonstop (8h 35m) ← new
- Completed two hours of KUL-SZB test flights. Soon to redebut as Batik Air Malaysia’s fleet. B737 MAX 8 PK-L
Kuala Lumpur to Melbourne nonstop is 3,918 miles (3,606km), becoming the world’s new longest MAX 8 route. Analyzing OAG data reveals that it’ll be the longest by both distance and block time. Purely for context, the airport pair will be slightly longer than Frankfurt to New York JFK and almost as long as Miami to São Paulo.
In its favor is the routing, with block time not hugely different in each direction from the lower headwind, meaning less fuel consumption and more range.
It’ll also deploy its 162-seat configuration, with 12 business seats (45″ pitch) and 150 in the economy (32″). As these have 10% fewer seats than its all-economy cabin, the weight will be lower, reducing fuel consumption and raising the range. And Kuala Lumpur and Melbourne are at low elevations. However, it’s probably inevitable that a payload restriction will be required.
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Between December 6th and February 6th, OAG reveals that Kuala Lumpur-Melbourne will have 5x daily flights across AirAsia X (1x daily), Batik Air Malaysia (2x daily), and Malaysia Airlines (2x daily). That’s not a record – 6x daily is, held on many occasions between 2013 and 2018. However, it’s up from a maximum of 4x daily in 2019.
On December 6th, for example, the following will all operate, organized by departure time from Kuala Lumpur. As you can see, three flights will arrive in Melbourne within 20 minutes:
- 09:20, coming in Melbourne at 20:15, Malaysia Airlines, MH129, A330-300
- 16:55-06:40+1, Batik Air Malaysia via Denpasar Bali, OD177, B737 MAX 8
- 19:25-06:20+1, Batik Air Malaysia, OD175, B737 MAX 8
- 20:10-06:30+1, AirAsia X, D7218, A330-300
- 21:50-08:45+1, Malaysia Airlines, MH149, A330-300
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