Malaysia Airlines A330 New Business Class Seat Revealed

Since earlier in the year Malaysia Airlines has been under new leadership, as the airline is undergoing a radical transformation. These changes include the following:

Anyway, Malaysia Airlines’ CEO is a smart guy, and he realized that while the airline is shrinking, they still have to be able to compete in the markets in which they do operate. Since they’re trying to dump their 777s and A380s, that leaves the A330 to operate their longer routes.

The A330 presently features an angled flat business class seat, which isn’t especially competitive nowadays.

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Malaysia-A330-Business-1

In June of this year Malaysia Airlines announced that they’d soon introduce a new business class product on the A330, which they claimed would be “a world-class leading lie-flat seat” with “very large dimensions, and be positioned above the industry standard for business class.”

Malaysia Airlines has now revealed their new A330 business class product, which they will begin rolling out in April 2016.

Malaysia-Airlines-Business-Class-1

Here’s what we know about the new business class product so far:

FEATURING 27 INNOVATIVE SEATS, DESIGNED TO PROVIDE SUPERB SPACE, PRIVACY AND FLEXIBILITY FOR YOU TO WORK, PLAY AND SLEEP.

With 43-inch seat pitch, you’ll have all the space you need to continue working comfortably. Each seat comes equipped with power outlet and USB port, with large single leaf meal tray table providing more than ample space for a notebook or tablet. The reading light offers optimal lighting, no matter if you’re sitting down, lounging or lying down.

Watch the blockbuster you missed, discover new music, or play a game or two on the Panasonic 16-inch touch screen in-flight entertainment system as you indulge in a culinary adventure with our on-board meals.

The 20.6-inch wide seat turns into a fully flat 76-inch bed, complete with plush bed linen, allowing you to relax in extra comfort. With 90% of all seats offering direct isle access, you’ll get that uninterrupted rest you deserve.

And here are the pictures of the new seat:

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Malysia-New-Business-Class-2

Malysia-New-Business-Class-3

This looks to me like a pretty standard Vantage-style staggered business class seat, as you’ll find on Austrian, Brussels, Delta, Jet Airways, Swiss, etc. Of course these airlines all have slightly customized designs, though overall they’re the same general seat.

Brussels-Airlines-Tomorrowland-Flight-11
Brussels A330 business class seat

Ultimately it’s a solid product, though far from my favorite — I’d take a reverse herringbone seat over anything. The biggest downside to these seats are that the “foot cubbies” have limited space, so it tends to be a bit tight.

It’s worth noting that Malaysia’s A330s presently feature 36 business class seats, so this new cabin represents a 25% reduction in business class capacity. That’s probably bad news for those upgrading or trying to book award tickets.

Bottom line

Ultimately this seat is exactly what Malaysia Airlines needs. Is it cutting edge? Nope. Is it competitive? Yes. Malaysia Airlines has always been good about competing on price when it comes to premium cabins, so if they can maintain a price advantage while offering this product, I think it’ll be a hit with consumers.

What do you make of Malaysia Airlines’ new business class product?

Comments

  1. It seems as if the former Aer Lingus CEO has a bit of trouble parting with his seat! Other than the finishes, I can’t find a single difference between this seat and the Aer Lingus business class seat.

  2. Lucky
    Forget about the reverse seats.
    Try what JAL and Korean Air now have.
    You have full aisle access
    You have full privacy
    You don’t have the problem with a cubbies for your feet

    This is a superior product
    Would love to read your review of it

  3. I don’t think a new seat is going to save MH: Cutting routes is disrupting operations, service is terrible, especially ground staff and operations, it takes 3 months (!!) to get a response to email… I tried to reschedule for an international business class flight they cancelled without any response, rebooked on SQ instead…
    If you are booking MH, you are doing at your own risk. Even in Business Class, you can’t get service and despite consistently lower prices around Asia, I’m not booking with them anymore…

  4. I’ve yet to be on an MH flight where the business cabin was more than a quarter full on a wide body and more than two or three seats filled on short hauls. Reducing the number of seats only makes sense, and is part of a trend industry-wide as cabins are refurbished with new seats. Too many business seats have indeed been filled by upgraders and award fliers, though releasing these empty seats is happening closer to flight time. BTW isn’t this the same seat AA was using on its B767 refurb but has dropped mid-conversion due to delivery issues?

  5. Honestly a little disappointing about these seats, not because they aren’t better than their old seats (they are – I’ve flown them plenty of times to know these would be better) but the CEO did say “a world-class leading lie-flat seat” – these aren’t quite the leading lie flat seats we thought they would be.

    Still maybe they’ll customize them more than current images show…

  6. It is worth noting that if MH is looking to be a regional airline, it is likely that this seat is going to see a lot more 4-8 hour flights vs. 10+ hour flights. While I would certainly prefer a reverse herringbone for ultra-long haul routes like many that CX flies, this would be a great seat on a KUL-MEL/BOM/NRT/ICN/Etc.

  7. @Lucky, writing style tip; many of your posts include a paragraph or two which start with the word “Anyway”. Please try to mix it up a little, or drop the word (it’s generally not necessary). Keep up the good work and more Ford please!

  8. Can’t believe their blurb is promoting “isle access”. Do you step onto an island when you get up? 🙂

  9. Good start for MH, hopefully they will keep some of the 777 and 380’s for longer routes and give them a better J seat than this.

  10. I’m no expert with aviation seats but I’d think MH needs to focus more on how to become profitable again before redesigning their seats (which I think would cost a lot of $$$). If they are to compete as a regional airline, their main competitors will be SilkAir, DragonAir, AirAsia, etc., not Cathay, Singapore, or Garuda. Once profitable again, then I’d think MH would have the time and money to refurbish and create a new business class seat.

  11. @Joey
    Well, nobody’s going to fly your business class if it’s a 90s product, and selling them at low costs would hurt the bottom line. The new business class product is the right choice in the sense that it keeps MH competitive against Singapore’s regional product (which is a 2-2-2 angled lie flat), Garuda’s (2-2-2 full flat) and Cathay’s (which doesn’t become a bed at all, but CX does also have herringbone and reverse herringbone beds on its regional routes). I think this was the smartest choice – it has direct aisle access for a majority of the cabin, the seats don’t consume too much space, and it shouldn’t be too expensive an investment considering that it’s already been designed, tested and proven on the A330.

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