Malaysia Airlines unveils branding of pilgrimage arm Amal

Malaysia Airlines (MAB) has officially launched its pilgrim-centric airline service, Amal, dedicated for Hajj and Umrah with the unveiling of its official name and logo. The logo features the colours red and blue which are in line with MAB's official colour scheme.

Formerly known as Project Hope, Amal's offerings reflect the Islamic values and principles. MAB is confident that Amal will be the Hajj and Umrah carrier of choice connecting Southeast Asian Muslims primarily in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand to the Holy Land. Its first service commenced in October 2018, with three flights operating daily to Jeddah and Madinah.

In a statement to A+M, MAB's spokesperson said being a start-up, Amal's business model is currently very much B2B. Therefore, its will focus on working closely with key umrah agencies that are prominent at the national level as well as at the targeted provinces/states.

Moving forward, MAB's spokesperson said that Amal will also leverage on social media and online platforms to introduce the brand, as well as taking part in key ground events as part of a public awareness programme.

Meanwhile, Amal aims to win over 60% of Malaysia's Hajj and Umrah flight market within the next one to two years, up from the current 50%, Bernama reported. It also intends to amass a 10% market share in Indonesia and fly approximately 13,000 pilgrims from Thailand during the same period.

Malaysia Aviation Group CEO Izham Ismail said the company sees "big potential" for the Hajj and Umrah market and it has the "added advantage" of having years of experience providing such a service. According to him, Indonesia is an "under-served market" despite its population size being 10 times larger than Malaysia's.

"The aim is to establish an air transport system and infrastructure dedicated for Hajj and Umrah for Muslims not just from these three countries but also other ASEAN countries," he added.

Amal's CEO, Hazman Hilmi Sallahudin, said the establishment of Amal is also hoped to alleviate the overall quality of services in the pilgrimage market which is often associated to non-premium services. "As Saudi Arabia aims to quadruple the number of pilgrims to 30 million by 2030, Amal is honoured to play a part in making Saudi Vision 2030 a great success," he said.