Malaysia Airlines has confirmed it will push back the start of its Airbus A380 flights between Kuala Lumpur and Sydney to late November.
The two-month delay appeared earlier this week in the GDS timetable database used by airlines and travel agents, and an MAS spokesman has now advised Australian Business Traveller that "the commencement of A380 operations between Sydney and Kuala Lumpur has been rescheduled from 25 September 2012 to 25 November 2012."
Anbarasu Sundram, MAS Manager for Media, Issues & Crisis Management, told Australian Business Traveller that the reason for the delay "is to enable its third and remaining three Airbus A380s ordered to undergo further upgrades to the wing structure of the aircraft during the production stages."
"The upgrade will increase the flight cycle of the A380 from 700 to 1300 (sic) before each aircraft is subjected to routine engineering inspection of the wings structure as determined under the aircraft operating and utilization plan."
Sundram, in his best MAS marketing-speak, explains that "the increased flight cycle will enable customers to enjoy uninterrupted Branded Customer Experience (BCE) service quality of the Malaysia Airlines A380 product."
"This will also allow Malaysia Airlines to ensure the service delivery on the Kangaroo route between Australia and the UK via Kuala Lumpur is consistent on both legs of the journey."
MAS had previously confirmed to Australian Business Traveller the intended September 25 launch date for its daily Airbus A380 service, which would replace the current Boeing 747-400 on flights MH122/123.
Malaysia Airlines' other Sydney-KL flight (MH140/141) will continue on a Boeing 777.
The delay will be a minor disappointment to regular business travellers between Sydney and Kuala Lumpur, especially those who fly in economy.
As Australian Business Traveller exclusively reported in April this year, Malaysia Airlines has declared the upstairs economy section to be a kid-free zone.
All children under the age of 12 – including infants – will be banned from this cabin unless the downstairs economy section is completely full.
The move is aimed at ensuring a more restful and enjoyable trip for business travellers who have to fly in economy.
Australian Business Traveller will keep you updated on MAS' A380 rollout over the next few months.
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