Malaysia Airlines will debut a new international business class seat for its forthcoming Airbus A330neo jets, with the high-privacy pew also being refitted to the KL carrier’s long-range Airbus A350 fleet.
The seat will feature more personal space and creature comforts compared to its current twin-aisle business class, along with the near-mandatory inclusion of sliding privacy doors.
In addition to confirming this step-change for business class travellers, Malaysia Airlines CEO Izham Ismail has also revealed the specific seat which passengers can expect to see.
It’s the Elevation model from manufacturer Collins Super Diamond – which makes this a very familiar seat, as it’s the same platform used by British Airways for its Club Suite business class and for Etihad Airways’ A350 Business Studio suite.
The first of up to 20 Malaysia Airlines A330neo jets are now expected to arrive in late 2024 and will be replace the airline’s workhorse A330s – which dominate routes across Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East – by the end of this decade.
An updated version of the ‘classic’ A330, the A330neo embraces not only new engine designs but a fresh take on the cabin interior which reduces inflight noise, increases personal space and upsizes the overhead luggage bins, all brought together under the Airspace cabin brand.
Those building blocks have in turn been inherited from the Airbus A350, which introduced several individual Airspace elements including improved LED lighting and deeper overhead bins which increase capacity by some 66%.
Ismail has previously cited the A330neo as “a natural transition” from the current A330s.
“The A330neo will not only provide fleet modernisation and enhanced operational efficiency, but will also meet environmental targets through reduced fuel-burn per seat, while keeping passenger safety and comfort at its core.”
Happily, one thing that’s not changing is Malaysia Airlines’ amazing business class satay.
Ismail also revealed the same business class suites will be added to the Airbus A350s beginning in 2026 – and that retrofit project will also spell the end for the A350’s four first class suites, since rebranded as Business Suites.
“We will get rid of those because that’s a lot of real estate on the aircraft,” Ismail told UK blog Head for Points, adding the are no plans for a first row ‘business plus’ treatment – just a larger business class cabin.
Ismail also confirmed the airline’s Boeing 737 MAX jets, due for delivery from the third quarter of this year, would sport the same business and economy seats as the upgraded 737s, which the airline describes as “a progressive step towards the future” – to the point of ditching seatback video screens in favour of beaming movies and TV shows via WiFi to passengers’ own devices.