It’s the travel season and as I watch everyone I know book their seats on low cost airplane carriers, I’m curious to see how Malaysia Airlines (MAS) would perform sales-wise, especially during this holiday peak season.
This worry is not unfounded seeing since MAS did experience a rather rocky year. However, they are off to a good comeback for next year, with new CEO Christoph Mueller in the front line to turn Malaysia Airlines around. Their strategies have kicked in with them cutting costs, shrinking, and turning into a leaner and more boutique airline. Along with those measures, MAS also announced in June this year that they are introducing a new business class product—business class seats that will feature “very large dimensions, and be positioned above the industry standard for business class”.
Back then there was no fixed timeline for this product, however, recently they have unveiled their new design which according to MAS, will be launched in April 2016.
Before we have a look at the new business class seats for MAS’ Airbus A330 business class with first flights bound for Australia and Asia, here’s what the current business class seats look like.
And now, here are the new business class seats design.
The new seats are 20.6 inches wide and can turn into a fully flat 76-inch bed, which is a step up from the previous angled flat beds. Also equipped will be a 16-inch touchscreen with an in-flight entertainment system by Panasonic Avionics and a power outlet and a USB port will be available for every seat.
Seats will be arranged in a 1-2-1 or 1-2-2 layout, which provides 90 per cent of the seats with direct aisle access in comparison to the current 2-2-2 configuration.
“This product will make us more competitive against other full-service carriers and is part of the airline’s push to be more customer centric, offering new, personalised and innovative products,” Christoph Mueller said.
From my observation, travellers always seem to drift to sleep on their flights anyway, so added comfort would always be much appreciated. Not only that, to complete the experience, the beds also come with plush linens so wrap yourself up in during the infamously cold flights.
It’s a smart marketing plan to unveil luxury on not just any old economy class, and yet not reaching the first class level as well. By introducing these seats on the business class, it is a middle ground for travellers who wish to enjoy luxury from the moment they sink their butts into the plush airplane seats, up till they open their eyes upon landing.
Where there were 36 seats in business class previously, now it is down to 27, but as they say—quality versus quantity, right? And this also makes us wonder what other changes does MAS have up their sleeves. Perhaps new uniforms?