Skip to content

U.S. downgrades Malaysia safety status putting new AirAsia X route in jeopardy

Nov. 11, 2019
2 min read
U.S. downgrades Malaysia safety status putting new AirAsia X route in jeopardy
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

American authorities downgraded the air safety status of Malaysia, restricting the country's airlines from adding new routes or codeshares to the U.S.

The safety standards of Malaysia's aviation regulator was downgraded to a "Category 2" rating by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, the agency said Monday. The move means that the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia does not meet international air safety standards.

The change in Malaysia's status is likely to have little immediate impact on U.S. travelers. Existing codeshares and routes can remain in place, though neither can be expanded until Malaysia regains Category 1 status.

Sign up for the free daily TPG newsletter for more airline news!

Malaysia Airlines is a member of the Oneworld Alliance with American Airlines. However, according to Cirium schedules, the two carriers do no share any codeshare routes.

AirAsia X, the long-haul low-cost arm of the AirAsia Group, is the only Malaysian carrier flying to the U.S. The airline flies daily between Kuala Lumpur (KUL) and Honolulu (HNL) with a stop at Osaka Kansai (KIX) with Airbus A330-300 aircraft.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

The change in safety status, however, could disrupt AirAsia X's plans to add service to the U.S. Mainland as soon as 2021. The carrier has been planning new service to California’s Bay Area — either Oakland (OAK), San Francisco (SFO) or San Jose (SJC) airports — from Japan with its new Airbus A330neo jets that year.

Related: AirAsia X new California flights could begin as soon as 2021

No U.S. carriers fly to Malaysia, Cirium schedules show.

Featured image by Featured image of an Air Asia A330-300 by courtesy byeangel via Wikimedia Commons

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers