MAS has fifteen factory-fresh A330s on order, all of which will sport the same stylish livery seen on this aircraft, with red and blue stripes soaring up the sides of the plane to trail off into the sky (instead of running horizontally along the lower half of the fuselage).
Priced at $222 million each, the A330-300 order is part of an extensive fleet renewal program. This also includes Malaysia Airlines' first Airbus A380 due in April 2012 and which will also debut the airline's first premium economy cabin among its massive 508 seat capacity (50 more than Qantas and second only to Lufthansa and Air France in maxing out the super-jumbo's load).
Each of the new A330s has a revamped interior with variable mood lighting across all cabins and more spacious overhead baggage compartments. Every seat is equipped with AC power and USB socket for keeping laptops and tablets charged up during the flight.
A Malaysia Airlines spokeswoman confirmed with Australian Business Traveller that the business class cabin would continue sport the same 2-2-2 configuration as on the older A330s it replaces, rather than the despised middle seat of a tighter-fit 2-3-2 layout. There will be 36 seats in business class and 247 in economy.
Business class passengers can also enjoy MAS' Golden Lounge at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, which travel guidebook company Frommers rates as one of the world's best airline lounges.
Malaysia Airlines offer five times a week direct services from Brisbane to Kuala Lumpur with convenient onward connections to over 100 destinations. All five services will be operated by the new A330-300 aircraft.
The A330 will appear on all five weekly flights between Brisbane and the Malaysian capital.
The northbound MH134 service departs from Brisbane every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 11.20pm, arriving in Kuala Lumpur at 5.45am the next morning. The return flight MH135 leaves Kuala Lumpur on the same days at 9.20am to reach Brisbane by 7.40pm.
MAS has been giving the Australian market plenty of attention of late, only last month boosting its flights between Adelaide and Kuala Lumpur to six times per week.
The airline also came in ahead of Qantas for customer satisfaction in the latest Roy Morgan survey, with 85% of passengers reporting they were either ‘very satisfied’ or ‘fairly satisfied' with their experiences on Malaysia Airlines.