As part of its ongoing fleet modernisation plan, Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) is set to induct 12 new aircraft in 2024, including its first Airbus 330-900 (A330neo) which is scheduled to arrive in 3Q2024.
The group is looking to receive four of the new aircraft type this year, alongside eight of the Boeing 737-8 aircraft to support its network growth requirements.
In August 2022, MAG signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) with Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Avolon for the acquisition of 20 A330neo aircraft which are scheduled to be delivered through to 2028.
Ten of the aircraft are directly purchased from Airbus with a back-to-back sale and leaseback arrangement with Avolon, while the remaining 10 are leased directly from Avolon. The acquisition underscores the MAG’s commitment to elevate the standards of its service offerings, while ensuring that it can support the post-lockdown growth of the aviation industry.
The A330neo is set to provide improved operational efficiency to the MAG fleet while also allowing it to address environmental targets by offering up to 25 per cent reduction in fuel consumption and emissions. With a 1-2-1 configuration, the newly-designed Collins Aerospace Elevation Business Class seats will be a first for the group, featuring an all-suite cabin with individual privacy doors which prioritises cabin comfort and practicality. The seat covers will feature the signature songket (traditional Malaysian handwoven fabric) motif, a homage to Malaysia’s cultural heritage infused with a modern touch, creating a blend of tradition and contemporary style. With an all-aisle access layout, the seats ensure a comfortable and fully flat experience. The introduction of these new seats also positions Malaysia Airlines as the flagship carrier in the world to feature the Elevation seats on the A330 airframe.
The A330neo will comprise 297 seats (28 in Business Class and 269 in Economy Class, of which 24 seats come with extra legroom). Additional features include wireless charging pods, ergonomic seat cushions, integrated in-flight entertainment (IFE) solutions, and ample space to work, relax, and dine in comfort. The aircraft will also be fitted with Wi-Fi connectivity, ensuring that passengers can experience a practical cabin space onboard Malaysian Hospitality.
Izham Ismail, group managing director of MAG, said: “This expansion is not just about increasing our inventory in numbers but also introducing the first-of-its-kind cabin class, new seats and experiences that prioritises customer safety, comfort and overall satisfaction. We will continue to channel our investments into endeavours that strategically align with the key pillars driving our customer value proposition, namely cabin comfort, in-flight dining, and service delivery of our esteemed cabin crew.”
To further strengthen its fleet modernisation programme, MAG will also be retrofitting six of its A350-900s beginning 2026 to ensure consistent cabin standardisation and premium experiences for its guests in alignment with the new A330neo cabin.