Malaysia Airlines' first Airbus A350 has taken wing, with five more of the advanced jets to follow by July 2018 – and each is fitted with four first class suites of a unique design.
These are highly-customised versions of the Thompson Aero Seating's Vantage XL business class seat, which the airline maintains has been overhauled and upgraded specifically for its A350 – although it's very close to Thompson's Vantage Suite design (shown below).
High walls and a sliding door provide privacy for each passenger.
The seats themselves are 22 inches wide – the same as the A350's business class seats (which in turn are based on Thompson's Vantage platform) – although Malaysia Airlines cites a bed length of 83 inches, compared to 78 inches in business class.
A long shelf runs along the side of each suite and contains three spacious bins for keeping assorted pieces of carry-on kit close at hand.
The bin which sits next to the passenger features a large mirror on the underside of its lid, while located just ahead of that bench are the seat controls and a handheld touchscreen controller for the 24 inch HD video display parked at the far end of each suite.
Here's Mark Ross-Smith, who heads the airline's Enrich frequent flyer scheme, sampling the new first class suite on the A350 delivery flight from Toulouse to Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysia Airlines hopes that attributes such as privacy, a superior sleeping environment, direct aisle access and more detailed fitout – along with a true first class dining and drinks service – will warrant the extra cost over business class.
There's just one row of four suites at the pointy end of Malaysia Airlines' Airbus A350s, behind which are ranked 35 business class seats, using the same Thompson Vantage design as the Oneworld member's Airbus A330s – including four 'throne' seats which are ideal for solo flyers.
Those are followed by an economy cabin of 247 seats, 27 of which are 'extra legroom' seats with 36 inches of pitch compared to a standard 31 inches.