Which Routes Feature Malaysia’s New Business Class?

Last November I wrote about how Malaysia Airlines is in the process of installing a new business class product throughout their A330 fleet.

Malaysia is greatly downsizing following the especially rough couple of years they’ve had. They’re retiring all their Boeing 777 aircraft, leaving the A380 and A330 as their only longhaul planes. While the A380s have fully flat beds, the A330s feature angled seats as of now, which aren’t really competitive if they hope to gain any high yield traffic.

Malaysia-A330-Business
Malaysia Airlines’ old A330 business class

To try and become a bit more competitive, Malaysia Airlines is installing a new fully flat business class product. Malaysia is going with a pretty standard Vantage-style staggered business class seat, as you’ll find on AustrianBrussels, Delta, Jet Airways, Swiss, etc. It’s hardly cutting edge, but given that Malaysia primarily flies these within Asia and to Australia, it’s not like the plane is used for any true longhauls.

Malysia-New-Business-Class-1

Malysia-New-Business-Class-2

One major implication of this update is that the business class cabin is being reduced from 36 seats 27 seats, so presumably that will result in fewer award seats and discounted fares (then again Malaysia generally has abysmal load factors, so maybe not).

MH-A330-Business-Class

Malaysia Airlines originally announced that the new business class product would be available starting in April 2016, though it seems like they’re ahead of schedule.

Via airlineroute.net, Malaysia Airlines will begin offering their new business class product between Kuala Lumpur and Sydney as of March 23, 2016. The following flight will be operated with the new business class product on a daily basis:

MH141 Kuala Lumpur to Sydney departing 9:00AM arriving 7:15PM
MH140 Sydney to Kuala Lumpur departing 9:40PM arriving 4:30AM (+1 day)

Malaysia Airlines has 15 A330s in their fleet, and apparently plans on reconfiguring them pretty quickly, so I’d expect that all the A330s will feature the new product within a year or so.

Bottom line

It’s exciting to see that Malaysia Airlines’ new business class installation is ahead of schedule. Malaysia has some great premium fares and is part of oneworld, so their new business class product is pretty compelling. I can’t wait to try it out sometimes, as I’ve enjoyed the flights I’ve taken on Malaysia.

Comments

  1. http://www.ausbt.com.au reported back in November:
    “All 15 of Malaysia Airlines’ Airbus A330-300 jets will be fitted with the new seats by September 16”

    @used for any true long hauls
    Yeah, just 10-11 hours flights to AKL and plenty of 8 hours to Australia and North Asia.

  2. I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on what constitutes a “true long haul” flight. The only international flights I take these days are in excess of 13 hours (DFW > SYD), which I think is a long haul, but others consider a flight between NY & LHR to be long haul.

    A flight between Malaysia and Sydney would be considered “long haul”, as it’s over 8 hours in length, and is longer than a flight between NY & LHR.

  3. high yield traffic comes from serving routes where there is high yield demand, not from having a great seat. That’s the sad truth.
    There’s a reason BA has the J product they do and has no plans to change it… LHR is a high yield market. Those who pay do so because they need the nonstop and don’t want to go out of their way for a nice seat. That’s the hard truth.
    Putting in a flat seat will do nothing to change the market dynamics of KUL as a somewhat lower – yielding destination.

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