KUALA LUMPUR — National carrier Malaysia Airlines Berhad today confirmed plans to purchase 20 stealth bombers currently in use by the United States government as part of the airline’s recovery strategy.
MAS managing director Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said that the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit aircraft, originally built to deliver nuclear explosive devices and other weapons of mass destruction, would be refitted to serve their new purpose as ultra-premium passenger carriers.
“This may look like a CSR thing, turning a tool of war and death into one of class and comfort. However, it’s leading edge strategy,” said Jauhari, gesturing toward a picture of the menacing beast. “Our stealth aircraft will make us worlds apart from our competitors, providing quiet and fast transport for the discerning yet secretive traveller.”
Jauhari said that the new aircraft would be part of Malaysia Airlines’ new ‘Black Fleet’, an ultra-premium mode of transportation for the hyper-discerning traveller who prefer anonymity when globetrotting.
“There are many clients out there who need to be under the radar when travelling outstation. From uber-celebrities, tycoons and high-profile world leaders who appreciate privacy — they don’t want their travel itineraries made public and have unfriendly parties such as paparazzi waiting at airports. Our new planes can take them anywhere in the world so quietly, even the airport people won’t know they’re coming!” he joked.
Jauhari explained that the 20 bombers, currently on active duty with the US Air Force and could enter any airspace virtually undetected by radar, would cost the company US$600 million (RM1.9 billion) each, with an additional RM35 million allocated for passenger refurbishments per aircraft.
“A brand new B-2 stealth bomber costs around US$1.07 billion (RM3.4 billion), and we’re getting these 10-year, ‘pre-loved’ aircraft for almost half price. It’s a bargain really, considering the unique brand proposition for the company,” said Jauhari.
“Look at what the Concorde did for Air France!”
Jauhari added that the aircraft’s feasibility is further boosted by its mid-flight refueling capability.
“Our Black Fleet planes can not only land virtually anywhere, they can also fly as long as we want. There’s no limit to air travel now — if our clients don’t want to land, they can stay in the air indefinitely. We just keep refueling!”
He also explained that each aircraft would be fitted with the most luxurious creature comforts and most advanced technologies to ensure that the 32 high-value passengers reach their destinations secretly, yet refreshed and in style.
“We’re not sparing any expenses for out most valuable passengers,” said Jauhari. “From the most supple leather upholstery, to the gold-trimmings and custom-made teak wood and diamond-encrusted Kharma audio-video system, our clients can expect only the best of the best.
“Of course, all the top-of-the-line equipment will be matched with the best in service,” added Jauhari.
“Expect the finest and rarest Wagyu steak, Almas caviar and Matsutake mushrooms on the menu. If need be, we’ll even fly Chef Domenico Crolla to whip up his world-famous Pizza Royale with gold flakes. It’s the kind of absurdly understated luxury that is demanded by the most classy client.
“That’s the mantra of the stealth Black Fleet: Silent But Golden.”