Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Malaysia Airlines, the Eight Operator of the "Superjumbo" A380

Malaysia Airlines, one of the World’s five-star airline is going to be the next operator of the “Superjumbo”- Airbus 380 aircraft. The aircraft will accommodate 494 passengers in a three class configuration, seating eight passengers in First Class, 66 in Business Class and 420 in Economy. All seats are fitted with the latest individual in-flight entertainment systems, USB ports and satellite telephone facilities. The aircraft will officially debut as a thrice-weekly KL-London service (MH002/MH003) on 1 July 2012 before going daily in August. The airline will then introduce its brand new Airbus A380 onto the Sydney-Kuala Lumpur route beginning September 25th which will run as the daily MH122/123 service, replacing the current Boeing 747-400. The other daily MAS flight (MH140/141) will continue on a Boeing 777.

Malaysia Airlines new livery of the brand new A380.

Malaysia Airlines A380s will carry a dashingly revamped livery, combining the airline's iconic 'wau' (kite) symbol with modern fonts. The airline drops the red and dark blue colour in the new aircraft’s livery, adopting a slightly lighter blue in the new airliner. The airline’s A380 seating plan is almost the same as rivals Singapore Airlines and oneworld member Qantas Airways- first class in the front section of the lower deck, business class in the front section of the upper deck and economy class seats spanning both decks.

Eight 87 inch lie-flat beds with a generous 85 inch pitch (compared to 80 inches on MAS' Boeing 747) and massive 23 inch video screens will occupy first class at the front of the main deck in a 1-2-1 configuration. 66 business class seats on the upper deck will stretch out in a standard 2-2-2 layout. Each will have a 74 inch pitch (well beyond 58 inches on the Boeing 747), fold out into a 72 inch lie-flat bed and sport a 17 inch video screen.MAS' ‘Chef-on-Call’ facility, currently exclusive to first class passengers, will be extended to business class on the A380.

But recently, Malaysia Airlines does not enjoy a good time. In January, Malaysia Airlines cuts 12% of it’s international capacity with cancellation of flights to Dubai, Rome, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Damman, Johannesburg and Surabaya. While in March, the carrier announced a loss of RM2.5billion(US$820 million) in 2011. Malaysia Airline CEO Ahmad Jauhari said that the recent losses is caused by high fuel prices which contribute around 33% of the airline’s total cost, an increase of 15%. Recently, local media reported that the Malaysian government wants the share swap deal between Malaysia Airlines and Air Asia to be reversed. The airline’s union always strongly opposed the share swap deal between both airlines that was concluded in August 2011.

Malaysia Airlines has ordered six Airbus 380s.

5 of the 6 Airbus 380 will join the airline this year, while the remaining one will join in 2013. Apart from that, new Boeing 737-800 and Airbus 330-300 are expected to join the airline’s fleet, replacing older aircraft such as the Boeing 737-400 and Boeing 747-400. With the introduction of new aircraft into Malaysia Airline’s fleet, cost can be decreased, efficiency of the aircraft can be increased. This could certainly help Malaysia Airlines to transform the airline into a healthy state.

The Editor


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