On the 14th of April 2011, Malaysia Airlines unveiled its first of 15 new Airbus A330-300 aircraft, sporting the new MAS livery and enhanced in-flight features. The launching event was held at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport starting with a 30-minutes launch flight followed by an official launching ceremony.
A week before the event, Malaysia Airlines Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer YM Tengku Dato’ Sri Azmil Zahruddin had a twitter contest on his personal twitter account where the first 10 followers who responded to his tweet get a seat each on the launch flight/joyride.
I tried my luck and alhamdulillah, I was one of the first 10 to tweet back and ended up getting a seat on the flight!
Taking a day off from work, I was excited to be at the airport as early as 8am. Despite the event starting at early in the morning, most of the invitees consist of media representatives, bloggers, contest winners, guests and staff were already there when I arrived.
Check-in was smooth and flight number MH8888 was chosen for this flight.
The unique boarding pass that is now safely kept in my personal ‘aviation corner’ in my room.
The celebrity of the day 9M-MTA. The brand new A330 and the first MAS A330 to carry the new livery.
The guests anxiously waiting for the VIPs at Gate B2.
I had fun meeting some of the guests including few famous bloggers and aviation geeks. Also part of the invitees was Johan Farid Khairuddin or better known as JFK who I had flown with few weeks back (click here to read).
The VIPs for the flight led by Minister of Transport, Y.B. Dato’ Seri Kong Cho Ha.
Boarding process began shortly after the VIP delegation arrived. Like a little boy on his first flight, I was among the first few to be on the plane. Excited to the max!
The first impression. Love at the first sight.
I personally prefer this ‘shades of red’ colour theme on economy seats compared to the colourful ‘smarties’ seats that MAS is currently using for their 737-400 and A330.
I was seated at 39G which is the last few rows of the plane.
Boarding process took longer than usual as everyone was just excited to take photos and checking out the new plane.
While waiting, I spent some time at the aircraft galley/kitchen. The laminated floor looks nice and also gives additional grip to the crew while working at the galley.
The new A330 has wheelchair friendly facilities including this wide lavatory located in the middle of the economy cabin. Kudos to MAS!
One cool part of the flight that I did not managed to catch on camera, was when the usual welcoming announcement was made by Tengku Dato’ Sri Azmil himself!
At one I point I actually asked the question, is he a trained cabin crew as he sounded very natural with the script!
Tengku Azmil seen here chatting with JFK before the start of the flight. For record, red tie looks nicer! haha
The plane finally left KLIA 30 minutes behind scheduled departure time. Not that anyone is complaining!
A quick review on the economy class seats. The Economy Class cabin, features lightweight and slim design seats with four-way headrest.
Each seat is equipped with individual audio-video on demand smart screens. The screen size is comparable to those foreign airlines that I’ve flown with and definitely bigger than those currently in MAS’s wide-body fleet.
I love the USB port feature. Passengers can now browse and view their files saved on a USB drive through this feature. The controller has a full QWERTY keyboard for seat message, emails and SMS.
The latest movies, TV programs, moving map and games are available for both cabins.
We flew for 30 minutes reaching as far as Malacca before flying back to Port Klang, PD and back to KLIA.
Another cool feature of the plane is the little mirror located in the overhead compartment. Since the compartment is a bit high, this mirror helps to identify if there are any items left in the compartment. Innovative!
We arrived at MAS Hangar 5 for the launching ceremony and was greeted by two AFRS trucks performing a water cannon salute.
View from top.
Catching up with the two friendly captains.
After the official ceremony was completed, I had the chance to visit the plane once again. The main target is of course none other than the cockpit!
And also the business class seats. The new A330-300 Business Class cabin offers comfortable angled lie flat seats, a fold-out privacy divider and six-way adjustable headrest, among others, presenting the traveller with both a mini office, as well as a place to unwind.
Not the best when it’s being compared to other business class seats in the industry but it’s an improvement nonetheless. I love the huge screens!
No AzuanZahdi.com trip report is complete without a photo with the crew. Thanks to the Malaysia Hospitality crew for the world-class service on-board and answering lots of questions from me.
A special shoutout to Tengku DAto Sri Tengku Azmil and his team for the hospitality shown. I sincerely hope that the new fleet will indeed bring MAS to the top!
Another milestone in my aviation blogging journey 🙂