Malaysia Airlines upgrading Australian flights to Airbus A330neo jets

The Oneworld member will replace its ageing A330 fleet with advanced and more comfortable A330neo jets.

By David Flynn, August 15 2022
Malaysia Airlines upgrading Australian flights to Airbus A330neo jets

Flights between Australia and Kuala Lumpur will be more comfortable in just about every aspect, promises Airbus and Malaysia Airlines, following the carrier’s decision to modernise its fleet of A330 jets with the latest A330neo version.

An updated version of the ‘classic’ A330s, the A330neo embraces not only new engine designs but a fresh take on the cabin interior which reduces inflight noise, increases personal space and upsizes the overhead luggage bins – all brought together under the Airspace cabin brand.

Those building blocks come from the A350, which introduced several individual Airspace elements including improved LED lighting and deeper overhead bins which increase capacity by some 66%.

Malaysia Airlines will take up 20 A330neo jets – in the larger A330-900 variant – to gradually replace its 21 A330s between late 2023 and 2028 across Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East, with purchase rights for a second tranche of 20.

The A330neo jets will be configured with 300 passengers in two classes, up from the 287-290 seat count of its A330-200 and A330-300 aircraft.

Will Malaysia Airlines outfit its A330neo jets with doored business class seats, as shown here on the Virgin Atlantic A330neo?
Will Malaysia Airlines outfit its A330neo jets with doored business class seats, as shown here on the Virgin Atlantic A330neo?

Premium travellers will be watching with interest to see if Malaysia Airlines opts for the latest version of its current A330 and A350 business class seats – Thomson Aero’s Vantage XL model – with sliding privacy doors, as most recently seen on Virgin Atlantic’s factory-fresh A330neos.

“The acquisition of the A330neo is a natural transition from our current A330ceo fleet,” noted  Malaysia Airlines CEO Izham Ismail.

“The A330neo will not only provide fleet modernisation and enhanced operational efficiency, but will also meet environmental targets through reduced fuel-burn per seat, while keeping passenger safety and comfort at its core.” 

For his part, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International Christian Scherer said “we are looking forward to working with Malaysia Airlines to define an exceptional cabin experience.”

Meanwhile, Malaysia Airlines has now begun flying its revamped Boeing 737s on domestic and short-range regional routes, with new business and economy seats which it describes as “a progressive step towards the future” – to the point of ditching seatback video screens in favour of beaming movies and TV shows via WiFi to passengers’ own devices.

15 Sep 2012

Total posts 94

Is the A330Neo much cheaper and economical than A350? Malaysian already has A350s in service. Wouldn't  it be better to have more A350s  than introduce a new aircraft type. I know they currently have A330s but A330neo is essentially a new aircraft type. A350 would be more suited to Malaysian routes

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1175

At list prices, the A359 is about $40M more expensive per plane than a A339.  A350 is capable of much longer routes than A339 and MH uses their A359s on their longer haul services.  Given MH operates predominantly regional routes the 339 is better suited for the majority of their needs.  There is no point spending more for the purchase and operation of a fleet if you are not going to need it.

08 Oct 2011

Total posts 53

A330-900 has a range of 7200nm and should be sufficient to do KUL-LHR and other European cities if MH wants to. I think A350 is on lease, therefore MH can switch to 339 easily to cover long range.

AirAsia X specifically wants 339 for its KUL-LGW/STN route.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 May 2019

Total posts 28

Such a fantastic development. With Qantas’ hard and soft product in a woeful state and route prices high, Malaysian is an excellent option for European and non-direct Asian routes. For plats like me who don’t usually have to stretch to retain this is such an excellent/cheaper way to travel business to Europe/Asia on modern aircraft particularly for family travel and legs where a (fairly generous) finance department baulks at the ridiculous capacity constrained fares being offered by qantas these days. 

28 Jan 2019

Total posts 7

I would fly with Malaysian Airline again if the price is right . Service is far more superior than that of Qantas . But again any Asian airline will beat Qantas hands down 

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