Malaysia Airlines (MAS) last week took delivery of its first A350-900, a member of the Airbus A350 XWB family of wide-body aircraft, intended to replace the airline’s Airbus A380-800 starting January 15, 2018.
The aircraft is said to be more fuel efficient compared with the A380 and offers a 25 per cent reduction in fuel burn and emissions, as well as lower maintenance costs.
The Edge Markets quoted MAS group CEO, Izham Ismail, as having said: “With its technological advancements, the A350 XWB will help boost our competitiveness on our longhaul flights, and underlines our commitment to operate a young and modern fleet.”
The aircraft is the first of its kind in Asia to feature a First Class cabin, with four seats in First Class, 35 seats in Business Class and 247 seats in Economy class. It will also have inflight Wi-Fi and ambient LED lighting designed to reduce jetlag.
Syed Razif Al-Yahya, group managing director of Sutra Group of Companies, believes the new aircraft will help MAS to stay competitive and reduce their operating costs on this route.
He added: “In terms of passenger numbers, the A380 aircraft it replaces could carry more – up to 486 passengers. In terms of how it will affect passenger demand, however, he opined that the difference will be insignificant.
MAS will receive five more A350-900s in stages by 2Q2018.