Tonight, Malaysia Airlines famed ‘Malaysian Hospitality’ makes a new leap as the national carrier introduce the new First Class, Business Class and Economy Class seats onboard the 494 seats recently delivered A380-800. The maiden voyage of MH002 to London Heathrow departed from KLIA ten minutes before midnight.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd. Yassin was present to send off the fully booked inaugural flight of the A380 three weekly service to London Heathrow. Captains Norshid Ali and Ahmad Zuraidi Dahlan flew the 9M-MNA registered aircraft.
The new First Class ‘suites’, are being introduced by Malaysia Airlines with the A380 entering the service. It is 40 inches wide and has a 87-inch pitch as a sky-bed with a 23-inch high definition (HD) inflight entertainment (IFE) screen.
It is the eight airliner in the world to operate the largest commercial jetliner, where the maximum take off weight (MTOW) is 560 tonnes. More than half of the MTOW weight is fuel, where the aircraft is able to upload a maximum of 320,000 litres of jet aviation kerosene and fly the Super Jumbo to a range of 15,000km.
The new Business Class is almost like the previous B747-400 First Class where passengers enjoy a full flat bed recline and a 17-inch high definition (HD) inflight entertainment (IFE) screen. Malaysia Airlines’ A380 would have 66 of these upmarket 74 inches pitch Business Class seats.
The new Economy Class would be 18 inches wide with extra leg and head room, as compared to existing Malaysia Airlines’ wide body aircrafts like B747-400 and B777-200. It also has a 32-inch pitch and 10.4-inch screen. Passengers in this class now are able to use the power and USB socket from individual seats.
The corresponding services that Malaysia Airlines would be introducing with the A380 service would do justice to the award winning onboard services already synonymous with the national carrier. Healthier meals selection would be made available. First Class and Business Class passengers would also enjoy better meals and toiletries.
Part of the ‘package’ for First and Business Class passengers is the improved check in service in KLIA, where immigration would be cleared at the check in counter. The ‘Meet and Greet’ for First Class passengers means that ushers would receive them and their baggages at the ‘curbside’ and escort them all the way until they are seated in one of the eight super luxury seats in the main deck of the A380.
The maiden MH002 A380 service to London Heathrow is commemoratively significant as exactly 38 years ago, Malaysia Airlines System introduced the first service to London Heathrow using B707-200 aircraft.
In his welcome speech Group CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said that the A380 service and new products offered will mark a new rebranding exercise for Malaysia Airlines. So far, the bookings of the A380 to and from London Heathrow have been very encouraging. Malaysia Airlines expect to receive a second A380 in two weeks time at Farnborough Air Show, where from 25 August daily MH002/001 flights to and from London Heathrow would be operating using the A380.
Malaysia Airlines expect to receive four A380s by year end where services to Sydney and Beijing (both 25 November) and then from 1 March 2013, Tokyo Narita would be offered. Observers are bullish of Malaysia Airlines effort to rejuvenate the airline with this new type and new products introduced.