It was early morning last Thursday the 14th of April and I found myself in a queue to go for a joyride on the new Malaysia Airlines, better known as MAS, new airplane : A330 - 300. A bit of a question mark to some (as evident by a question on Twitter I've received) as most airlines in the world are harping on the new A380 that they have/will received. Well, MAS seems to have ordered these A330 4 to 5 years ago and they have just starting to receive it now. They will continue to receive another 15 of these A330 in the next few years and even has an option to purchase another 10 airplanes.
Here's a link to a report by the Star Online on MAS fleet renewal program : MAS fleet renewal program.
What is the different between the current A330 and MAS current fleet. It seems that it can travel longer and farther with less fuel. That is more for MAS to take advantage of. The route that this new A330 will be Beijing, Perth, Delhi, Brisbane, Osaka and Shanghai.
What is the benefit for the passenger? It seems that the new aircraft has a better entertainment system like a touchscreen and the one I consider as the best change is the placement of the phone-like control for the entertainment system which is now just below the screen than when it is now for the older model which is at your handrest. I hate it as it bothers me when I need to stow it away.
However, other than a few tweaking here and there (there was supposed to be a very soothing lighting system which I can't really see when it was on show as the cabin was so lighted by the hot day), unless they can translate the savings that they get into flight tickets price, I can't see the big advantage consumers can feel from these new fleet.
I have a sentimental reason to love MAS, and I actually flew MAS to London last September when another couple who was travelling with us want to try out the A380 which plied the same route (with a few transits). I've flown MAS to various destinations and as many will use other airlines to get the advantage of lower tickets price and better airplanes, I may stick to my choice when travelling to certain destinations.
I am only hoping MAS will keep on adding to its fleet with new aircraft and with London and Sydney being one of the route it will use the A380 on, I am hoping when it is delivered, I will fly on them to either destination.