Up close with Malaysia Airlines' new Airbus A330 business class seat

By Chris C., March 22 2016
Up close with Malaysia Airlines' new Airbus A330 business class seat

Malaysia Airlines' long-awaited new Airbus A330 business class seat takes to the skies this week, and Australian Business Traveller is in Kuala Lumpur for an Australian exclusive first look.

At first glance, it's a significant step up from the current 'sloping sleepers' plying the airline's Australia-Kuala Lumpur routes, being fully-flat and extending to a spacious 193cm when in bed mode.

In a break from the existing 2-2-2 layout, the new seats come in an improved configuration with alternating pairs of one and two seats (1-2-1, 1-2-2), providing all but three passengers with uninterrupted and direct access to the aisle for a good night's sleep:

To make things simpler for travellers, two straightforward control panels replace the previous raft of 14 keys needed to adjust the seat to the perfect position, with shortcut keys for the most common tasks...

... and a larger panel for adjustments or a massage:

Also boosted is the inflight entertainment screen, with the content library now served up on a 16-inch HD monitor...

... and using headphone outlets that now aren't at risk of being bumped throughout the flight as happens with the current Malaysia Airlines A330 business class seat:

Of course, you'll also find an AC power outlet to complement the USB slot above, and ample legroom when sitting upright, lounging or dining:

Added to that is a coat hook – used mainly on landing as the crew hang jackets prior to departure – a side storage zone that can house your smartphone or small tablet during the flight...

... and extra storage around the seat for your other bits and pieces:

Malaysia Airines' new business class seats debut on Wednesday March 23 on flight MH141 to Sydney, and Australian Business Traveller will be on board to bring you the world's first inflight review.

MAS will continue by refitting two aircraft each month until September, after which all of Malaysia Airlines' international A330-300s will boast the new seats.

Also read: Inflight review of MAS' new business class seats, KL-Sydney

Chris Chamberlin is visiting Kuala Lumpur as a guest of Malaysia Airlines

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

Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1378

What is the base model of the seat, and do any other airlines use it??

The decision to have a few seats only without direct aisle access does appear weird, but I guess they could use them for couples albeit they are still separated by the seat behind

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 542

It's the same style as, and probably the Thompson Aero Seating Vantage seat, used by Brussels, Austrian, Qantas and SAS, among others. While other airlines (such as Qantas) seem to have modified versions possibly from other companies, this model by Malaysia strikingly resembles Thompson's themselves.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1378

Thompson website confirms it as the Thompson Vantage model - also used by Swiss, Aer Lingus, JetBlue, Air Canada, Austrian and Brussels Air

Qantas uses the larger Thompson Vantage XL model, along with SAS, which is why they are 2x2x2 in a 330

05 Sep 2014

Total posts 14

Air Canada have this arrangement on 7 of their B773s and have been slated for it, so much so that they're in the process of replacing the seats after less than 3 years.

30 Aug 2013

Total posts 441

I assume by doing 2 per month they are not refitting any Y seats?

11 Mar 2016

Total posts 6

Y seats aren't being refitted , only the J ones. 

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1245

A small step on the road to recovery with MH, but an important step nonetheless.  These new seats look perfectly comfortable on which to enjoy their delicious satay!

QFF - Platinum

23 Mar 2016

Total posts 11

Looking forward to MH141 this Friday 25th !!

QFF - Platinum

23 Mar 2016

Total posts 11

MH 141 last Friday - here are my comments - seat 6K

1. A huge improvement overall - good storage and easy to operate controls - comfortable seat

2. For me the 'throne' seat doesn't work to sleep as I found the leg space too restrictive - 7A next time

3. Interesting to see 2 new rows of economy literally jammed into a tiny cabin in what used to be  the last row of previous business class seating

Overall well done - as an MH plat I am happy with the improvement

24 Mar 2016

Total posts 1

The seat itself looks a little bit narrow. Some airlines seem to be going down the road of less seat and more hardware surrounding the seat. Having said that I am a minimal carry-on traveller so too much hardware is a waste to me.

24 Mar 2016

Total posts 1

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