Above: The Vantage seats will offer fully flat beds and 16in Panasonic IFE
November 5, 2015 – Visitors to the World Travel Market in London this week were treated to a sneak preview of Malaysia Airlines’ new A330-300 business class seats, due to be introduced into service in April 2016.
Malaysia Airlines Group CEO Christoph Mueller, who joined the airline earlier this year, stated, “The new seats and configuration have been designed to give a superb space for work, play or sleep. All of our A330 business class seats will now feature fully flat beds allowing our guests the ultimate in comfort and versatility”.
Above: The new Vantage seat being demonstrated at World Travel Market
“This product will make us more competitive against other full-service carriers and is part of the airline’s push to be more customer-centric, offering new, personalized and innovative products,” he added.
The product chosen is the Vantage seat from Thompson Aero Seating; a product Mueller is familiar with from his previous role at Aer Lingus, which he selected in order to boost demand for its transatlantic business class, and which launched earlier this year.
The main advantage of the new seats is that they offer a fully flat bed, which is a major upgrade from the angled lie-flat product they replace. While the Vantage is a very space-efficient design, seat count in the business class cabin does drop from 36 to 27, but it does meet today’s premium long-haul customer expectations of a flat bed, and of direct aisle access (well, 90% of the seats) thanks to a 1-2-1 and 1-2-2 LOPA.
The 20.6in-wide seats are pitched at 43in, with a bed length of 76in, and offer substantially more working and stowage space than the outgoing seats – particularly in the single ‘throne’ seats, of which we expect there will be two.
The airline expects all 15 of its A330-300s to be fitted with the new seating by September 2016. For a video tour of the cabin, visit Malaysia Airlines’ Youtube link HERE.
Below: The Malaysia Airlines version of Vantage has the same new central meal tray deployment mechanism as Aer Lingus