Malaysian Airlines packs 508 seats into new A380

By David Flynn, November 5 2010
Malaysian Airlines packs 508 seats into new A380

Malaysia Airlines' (MAS) first Airbus A380 will take to the skies in April 2012 packed with 508 seats - 50 more than Qantas and second only to Lufthansa and Air France in maxing out the super-jumbo's capacity.

(That said, this is nowhere near the 853 passenger capacity on an A380 fitted with all-economy seats – and thankfully no airline has yet placed an order for the A380 in that 'sardine configuration').

Seating plans released today show eight first-class seats, 54 business-class, 26 in the new premium economy cabin and 420 seats for economy.

This will be the first premium economy service offered by MAS, and only the second on any A380 (after Qantas).

The layout also represents a cut in first-class seating from the current 12 in MAS' 747-400 down to eight.

Business class is up from 37 in the 747-400, but even with 54 biz benches this is still the least on any A380. By comparison, Singapore Airlines has 60 business-class setas, Qantas 72 and Air France a massive 80.

MAS is clearly seeing a continued trend away from first-class travel into business class but plenty of scope for premium economy to appeal to budget-minded business travellers as well as some holiday-makers.

The configuration shows business and premium economy situated on the upper deck, first class on the lower deck and economy split over both decks, although with only a small number of cattle-class seats upstairs.

The first-class seats are designed as flat-bed suites with a 23 inch screen, guest seat and dining table. 

 The business-class seats have a 75" pitch (against 80" for Qantas) in a 2-2-2 configuration with a 17 inch screen.

MAS has six A380s on order but has yet to reveal which routes they'll ply.


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.

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