Malaysia Airlines expands its global network into Saudi Arabia with the introduction of a seasonal direct commercial service from Kuala Lumpur to Madinah.

The scheduled service is meant to complement the airline’s charter operations to Madinah.

Malaysia Airlines group chief executive officer Izham Ismail said, “We are pleased to expand our service into Madinah to offer Umrah pilgrims direct connectivity and flexible flight options between the two cities. This service provides a convenient option for pilgrims who wish to travel directly into Madinah on their pilgrimage.”

The airline will operate two flights each week – on Monday and Tuesday – and passengers will be flying on the Airbus 330-300 wide-body aircraft. The plane has 27 business class seats and 263 in the economy class. Return fares start from RM2,800.

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Meanwhile, students aged between 18 and 26 can sign up for the airline’s new travel programme, MHexplorer.

Through the programme, students can enjoy up to a 20% discount on flight tickets all year round, with an additional 10kg baggage allowance for all classes, one complimentary travel date change, a special friends and family promotion, plus earn Enrich miles. Currently, this is only valid for travel to and from Malaysia, Australia and Britain, but the list will expand gradually.

Malaysia Airlines is the world’s first airline to offer a fully digitalised student travel programme.