Malaysia Airlines to fly Airbus A350 to Tokyo, but not Auckland

By David Flynn, December 11 2017

Malaysia Airlines will fly its new Airbus A350 jets to Tokyo from May 2018, but says that a timetable listing showing that Auckland would also get the A350s is incorrect.

"We will not be operating the A350 to Auckland" a spokesman for Malaysia Airlines tells Australian Business Traveller. "This is an error that will be corrected."

The Auckland schedule was initially published by the AirlineRoute website, which listed A350 flights to the NZ city from August 5, 2018.

However, an Airbus A350 service between Kuala Lumpur and Tokyo/Narita (MH88/MH89) will commence from May 5, 2018 as an upgrade from the current Airbus A330s, with flights now bookable – including the A350's new first class suites.

Malaysia Airlines will roster its first four A350s onto the Kuala Lumpur-London route in two tranches in the first half of 2018 – from January 15 and March 5 – as replacements for its Airbus A380 superjumbos, which have proven to have too many seats and drink too much fuel for the flagship route compared to the more modest and fuel-efficient twin-engine Airbus A350s.

The airline's A350 jets feature four first class suites at the very front row, followed by 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.

Malaysia Airlines' business class 'throne' seat

Also read: Here are the business class 'thrones' on Malaysia Airlines' Airbus A350

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

jubbing

jubbing

American Airlines - AAdvantage

13 Jul 2015

Total posts 217

I thought it was kind of strange they were putting this to Auckland, when Sydney or Melbourne were more premium routes for MH. Would still like to see them explore another route in Europe though!

FLX1

FLX1

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 644

@jubbing:

"I thought it was kind of strange they were putting this to Auckland..."

359 will soon be the only type in MH fleet with a F product along with the greatest quantity of J seat supply and the highest belly cargo lift capability. Logically in such a fleet picture, MH(actually, any operator) would seek to deploy 359 in a mkt where F, J and cargo demand(Especially significant as MH has been massively downsizing their freighter fleet) are potentially the highest within its network.

NRT very likely won over AKL on these factors...might hv even won over SYD/MEL in terms of cargo demand.

"Would still like to see them explore another route in Europe though!"

Easy to see KUL-NRT route is far far less competitive or fare sensitive than AU/S.E.Asia-KUL-Europe routes these days....

David

David

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2334

Auckland's been previously cited by Malaysia Airlines as a potential A350 route but always very much a 'second choice', as were similar Asia-Pacific routes, compared to the ideal of a second European destination

henry_168

henry_168

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 May 2016

Total posts 33

Interestingly, they routed A350 to fly to Tokyo. Not too sure it's a strategic move when most A350 from other competing airlines (OneWorld) and Start Allicances (SQ and TG) are all flying A350 to Melbourne.

Bob Burgess

Bob Burgess

13 Sep 2016

Total posts 184

So you have inside knowledge of MH's route analysis, revenue and growth projections on Tokyo on which to base your 'strategic' analysis just because a few other airlines fly A350s into Melbourne?

FLX1

FLX1

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 644

@henry_168:

"...they routed A350 to fly to Tokyo. Not too sure it's a strategic move when most A350 from other competing airlines (OneWorld).."

An interesting claim when only 2 OneWorld carriers serving MEL hv 350 in their fleets and only 1 of them actually deploy 350 there @ the moment....

"and Start Allicances (SQ and TG) are all flying A350 to Melbourne."

SQ already deploy 350 to Tokyo HND IN ADDITION to MEL....unless of course, the "strategic" idea presented here is that 350 should be exclusive only to MEL and nowhere else in the Asia-Pcf mkt should receive it....

AB__CD

AB__CD

29 Mar 2014

Total posts 80

I don't think we can use SQ as a point of comparison. They have 67 A350s on order or in fleet; Malaysia has just six. For the same reason we can't really use EK to compare either when comparing A380 flights because they have 140 of the dang things.

Luke49

Luke49

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

17 Aug 2017

Total posts 17

I think Auckland is getting the A330-200 (ex Air Berlin) at some point.

FLX1

FLX1

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 644

@Luke49:

"I think Auckland is getting the A330-200 (ex Air Berlin) at some point."

Make sense for MH to deploy 332 on KUL-AKL route because:

1. The 332 lease held by AirBerlin ended prematurely well b4 the original expiry and little to no hope for its lessor to collect early return penalty fm AirBerlin while 332 lease rates on offer worldwide are currently @ a record low level - a classic case of asset in distress when MH can basically name whatever lease rate they want for these 332s and their lessor will still accept it.

2. KUL-AKL mkt size is not that big and demand is highly seasonal. Far easier to fill a 332 than a 359(Nothing else in MH fleet has the payload/range for this route except this pair... plus the retiring 380) on a daily, yr-round basis.

These leased 332s are likely already available for immediate delivery to MH today thx to AirbBerlin collapse. I suspect they are not yet deployed by MH likely only for 1 reason: Cabin product reconfig work to align with the rest of the 333 fleet @ MH....takes time to manufacture /deliver /install MH-style seats.

AB__CD

AB__CD

29 Mar 2014

Total posts 80

I don't believe they will refit the seats, just changing the covers. The existing configuration is already pretty decent fit for MH IMO, 19J/271Y vs 27J/263Y on the 333s, with a superior J to boot. The more Y seats on the 332 is going to be slightly strange, but not strange enough to prompt a refit i think.

GuyBetsy

GuyBetsy

British Airways - Executive Club

07 Sep 2012

Total posts 48

But it seems that the flight will not have F class. Inventory shows up to J class and seat maps show row 1 - for F class - to be completely blocked off.

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