New Malaysia Airlines A330 business class set for Sydney launch

By David Flynn, February 18 2016
New Malaysia Airlines A330 business class set for Sydney launch

Malaysia Airlines looks set to debut its new business class seats on the Sydney-Kuala Lumpur route from late March, and has also revealed the seatmap for the refitted A330's business class cabin.

The airline's schedule shows the new seats flying between KL and Sydney from March 23 as the MH140/141 service.

But with all 15 Airbus A330 jets going under the knife between now and August 31, according to the airline, there's a rapid roll-out to other cities.

Scheduling information entered by Malaysia Airlines into the global distribution system (GDS) used by travel agents and reported by reveals the following routes from Kuala Lumpur (subject to change):

  • MH122/123 to Sydney from April 6
  • MH128/129 to Melbourne from April 18
  • MH148/149 to Melbourne from April 30
  • MH130/131 to Auckland from May 21
  • MH132/133 to Auckland from June 7
  • MH70/71 to Tokyo from May 27
  • MH88/89 to Tokyo from June 18

Also slated in the second half of 2016:

  • Osaka from July 2
  • Beijing and Shanghai from August 3
  • Adelaide from August 20
  • Perth and Delhi from September 10
  • Seoul from October 1
  • Jeddah from October 15

Best seats in Malaysia Airlines new A330 business class

The seatmap details the unconventional layout of the revamped business class cabin and gives savvy travellers the chance to pick prized seats when they book on the upgraded A330.

There are six rows of seats alternating between four across (rows 1, 4 and 6, in a 1-2-1 line) and five across (rows 2, 5 and 7, which are 1-2-2).

This rudimentary seatmap doesn't illustrate how the seats are also staggered from row to row, however, as indicated in these PR photos below...

... and in an early mock-up concept (using Malaysia Airlines' typical cabin dress rather than the slick new-look styling) by seat manufacturer Thompson Aero Seating.

The best seats for travelling with a colleague or partner are obviously going to be the nine D/G or H/K pairs.

The single 'A' seats will be offset – one directly next to the aisle, one directly next to the window – as shown in this early Thompson mock-up below:

Seats 1A, 4A and 6A out you right at the aisle, with a bench between your seat and the window; seats 2A, 5A and 7A reverse that, so you're sitting at the window with the bench between you and the aisle.

Both of these locations provide a little extra room for snoozing flyers – especially around the hips and feet – when the seat folds down into a fully-flat 1.9 metre (76 inch) bed.

There will also be just three 'throne' seats – at 1K, 4K and 6K – where the seats are centred and flanked by two wide shelves on either side:

Expect these to be eagerly snapped up by solo travellers due to the extra degree of privacy and greater inflight workspace around the seat, although our experience with similar seats as flown by Swiss is that they're less than ideal for sleeping due to the confined quarters created by the bed being sandwiched between the two bench modules.

MAS is also revamping its first class and business class menus in collaboration with what the airline describes as a "five star Malaysian hotel", along with an updated wine selection and 'dine on demand' option.

Read: Seven things you need to know about Malaysia Airlines' new business class

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT


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.

There's one other thing a bit unclear as yet.

As I posted on Nov 6, this new J27 cabin is shorter than the old J36 cabin, and there are now 2 rows of Y between doors L1 and L2 (the seat map has revealed this to be row 9 and 10). In the old config, there was the one lavatory in front of the J cabin, and one more on the right at the rear of the cabin. There was also a Y lav opposite the rear J lav on the left (which J pax used anyway). 

These two lavatories at the rear of the J cabin are now firmly in the Y cabin after the reconfig. Unless some plumbing work is also being done, I'm reading this as one lav for 27 J pax, instead of a 2 (defacto 3) for 36.

If so, I predict much fun and games just after breakfast approaching ADL/MEL/SYD on an overnight :) 

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1251

QF's A330-200's have the 1 toilet for 28 J.

Haven't experienced this personally, but can imagine some waiting around at times.

15 Jun 2013

Total posts 9

These 'throne' seats can also be 'coffin' seats as you are crammed in on both sides at shoulder level by the leg area of the seats behind so I'd actually avoid these seats personally and go for 1A, 3A or 5A with the extra shoulder room created by the armrest going down.

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2555

That's quite true, I noted similar in my review of the Swiss A340 'thrones' and that was my own experience, and why I called out the 'A' seats for extra 'wiggle room'. The bit I find a little tight is around the shoulders because the 'throne' has those benches either side.

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

16 May 2011

Total posts 113

It looks like MEL will be second in line with the new product appearing on MH128/129 from 18APR and MH148/149 from 30APR.

ADL will see the new product from 20AUG and PER soon after on 10SEP according to airlineroute/OAG.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Feb 2016

Total posts 3

With the sacking of all MAS staff ay Sydney airport and outsourcing to contractors, will they reduce services to one a day..or no longer have a dialy service.



11 May 2015

Total posts 28

Well a couple of months ago BNE was reduced to no service at all after years of 1 per day. I see that ADL still gets a service. MH is of course in a lot of trouble and are reducing services workd wide and trying to get rid of their A380s. I think that the competition from SQ with 4 services a day BNE-SIN-KUL and VVmay have been too much - the same apply to SYD. Our old mates QF can only manage 1 service per day BNE-SIN-BNE

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on New Malaysia Airlines A330 business class set for Sydney launch