Malaysia Airlines unveils the new A350 coming to London, and bookable on Avios

Malaysia Airlines is one of the lesser known members of the oneworld alliance, in which it is a partner alongside British Airways.  This means that you can both earn and redeem Avios, and earn British Airways tier points, when flying on Malaysia.

Malaysia Airlines has just taken delivery of its first A350-900 aircraft and, from January, this aircraft will be operating one of their two daily Heathrow to Kuala Lumpur services.  Both daily Malaysia flights will switch to A350 operation by March.

Full details of the new planes are on their website here.

These aircraft will replace the current A380 services, which the airline intends to convert to an ‘all economy’ configuration to use exclusively on pilgrimage routes to Saudi Arabia.

Malaysia Airlines A350

These are three cabin aircraft – a super-exclusive First Class of just four seats (one row), Business Class (35 seats) and Economy.  Three rows of Economy have additional leg room and will be sold at a premium.

This Malaysian blog has some ‘real’ photos from the delivery event, including a peek inside.  Otherwise you are stuck with these three pictures which are all that Malaysia has put on their website so far:

First Class:

Malaysia Airlines A350 First Class

and

Malaysia Airlines A350 First Class

As you see, you are getting a ‘suite’ with a closing door.  The real difference between First and Business is that your feet are not tucked away in a cubby hole under the seat in front.

And Business Class:

Malaysia Airlines A350 business class

The Business Class layout looks pretty good.  It is a staggered 1-2-1 or 1-2-2 layout, similar to Aer Lingus.  It even has two Aer Lingus-style ‘throne’ seats on the right-hand side.  On the left, one row has ‘table / seat’, the one behind ‘seat / table’ and so on, so that your feet slot under the table area of the seat in front.  The Qatar Qsuite works in a similar way.

Here is an extract from the seat map which hopefully makes it clearer (click to enlarge):

Malaysia Airlines A350 seat map

If you want to find out more,  Malaysia Airlines has a special A350 section on its website which you can find here.

Whilst this will be bookable on Avios via ba.com (not avios.com), remember the standard restrictions on booking partner awards.   Every date is a peak date in terms of pricing, and you cannot use a British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher.

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Comments

  1. Lochlann says:

    Improvement on the A380 – that has put me off flying MH since my one and only trip with them

  2. For people in South east asia, MH is also a great way to get tier points quite quickly. For example penang to kul in business class is about 40gbp and gives 40 TP.

    • And it’s currently possible to fly PEN-KUL on the A350 at the beginning of next year. Added bonus is being able to book the seats in first, as they don’t sell F on the route. I’ve got that exact trip in Jan!

      • Wow that good news. We were hoping to hop over to PEN in Feb as Bali off the books now we think! So, to be able to fly in F seats for that J price would be amazing, even if it’s only a half hour flight! Just for the experience. Or even J with avios…

    • Which dates? I’d be interested in doing this but can only find fares for £110 or thereabouts on Google Flights.

    • Do you know if they also plan to fly the A350 to Langkawi ?

  3. I quite liked their A380 business class product, and also their regional one over in Asia… What I didn’t like was their appalling customer services when it went wrong… The a380 on my return from KUL to LHR went tech and was 16th hrs delayed. The comms were terrible (they didn’t announce to biz or first, only found out any info from listening to the economy gate room announcements). Hotel was eventually offered but only allowed for about 4hrs sleep and many passengers declined, given the poor state of information flow concerned that pax would end up missing something vital. For me the delay meant I missed an onward BA flight from Heathrow by an hour and had to book another later flight at considerable expense. The offer of compensation was 10,000 enrich miles.. No use to me as an AA Plat!

  4. Great shame they didn’t go with the “Negaraku” livery as in your first picture for this one (or indeed all of them), or adapt the A380 livery – the livery they’ve used here is the same as on their 737s and is rather dull, I think, plus on the A350 it really doesn’t work where the wing / fuel tank cuts into it at the front. Not a good piece of visual design at all.

    Still, looks good on the inside 😉 The economy seat looks much them same as those on the A380 but perhaps with more padding? I found the business class seat (assuming the same as their A330) very comfortable (interestingly they have a three-point car-style seatbelt, rather than the usual lap-only ones). I’m curious to see whether there’s any difference between the middle block of seats in First and the outer ones – the seat plan makes it look like the middle ones are bigger, but that could just be the drawing. I’ll find out in January from the comfort (hopefully!) of 1A 😉

    • MAS had already lost the plot with the livery, the have the original MAS livery which is still used on one (?) aircraft for posterity, they have the old livery which they seem to have spent years replacing, the newer livery, the A380 livery, and the Negaraku livery (which has the most impact).

  5. The problem with redemptions is that MH never seem to offer more than a single seat in F and J on each flight so they are no use for a couple. That said, it’s also tough on the BA flight to KUL.

    • When MAS first joined oneworld the redemption availability was completely open and it was easy to book whatever cabin on whatever flight (I got 2 seats in First on the A380 which used to fly KUL to HKG). Then something was changed and it seems to only ever be 1 seat per cabin.

      Watch out for some really good ex BKK deals in business, fly onwards to other asian cities via KUL.

  6. Is there a better way than BA.com to search for MH teward availability?

    Tried looking on BA.com for PER-KUL oneway with Avios on MH recently but nothing,

    I guess they get booked immediately like LHR-KUL does on MH & BA.

    One way cash fare was £1000+, plus flying at 2am, hence why I’m giving AirAsia business a shot.

    • At the risk of repeating my previous point, how many seats? I can see lots of availability if you only need 1 but little or no chance if more than that.

    • How far out? MH seem to load OneWorld/Avios redemptions in occasional batches – in the past I’ve seen plenty of availability in Business 11 months out, on BA.com, other times nothing until 6 months out. I’ve definitely seen 4 seats per flight readily available every day for weeks, and pretty sure I’ve seen 6, maybe even 9+ IIRC, but they do seem to come in waves… (I’ve only been looking at LHR-KUL though).

      • Not for a moment doubting what you say but I’ve been looking for 2 seats to KUL from LHR,CDG or AMS for months now but have never seen more than 1 in either J or F. Part of the problem seems to be that they have levels of awards for their own members and those using Avios need a “partner” award which, IME anyway, is always limited to just 1 seat in each cabin. Obviously I haven’t checked all their other routes but those I have follow the same pattern.

        • Arent MAS only flying to LHR? The AMS and CDG routes were cancelled a few years ago, with talk of starting up one of the routes with the new A350. MAS used to also codeshare on the AMS route with KLM, using a KLM aircraft, so that wont show up on avios redemption.

        • Well you won’t find any on MH from CDG or AMS because they no longer fly those routes 😉 But keep trying for LHR – there’s almost nothing showing, which probably means there’s a new batch due to be loaded any minute… although oddly there’s nothing to KL (as of a quick look just now) on BA metal or any other OW partners, so maybe a glitch with BA.com perhaps? (Seems to be throwing a lot of errors also.) There’s 2 F seats on MH1 on 13th Dec though, if that’s any use to you… 😉 Good luck in any case!

      • 2 seats in approx one month’s time, so I accept that’s relatively last minute, only booked this route because of recent Volcano/ash cloud situation in Bali…

      • Thanks – I’ll give up on AMS & CDG then!!!!!

        I actually ended up booking DUB-DOH-PEN on QR with AAdvantage miles but would have liked to try the MH route had there been availability when I wanted it.

    • I flew Air Asia to Perth in 2016 and for the price paid was happy with the business seat and service.
      Remember it is effectively buy on board after you’ve eaten your packaged meal.

    • Just remembered, re TripRep’s original question – doesn’t Expert Flyer show availability by fare class (not just cabin class)? Only in the paid version as I recall, but may be worth it – you can set up alerts to notify you when seats become available IIRC. MH First partner rewards are fare class P. Business class is U I think.

  7. Chen W. says:

    Slightly off-topic but MH related. They don’t offer 24-hour grace period for ticket cancellation, which I leant the hard way a few weeks ago. I booked a wrong date (my fault) but rang them immediately after I realised the error (10 minutes after booking), and after a few phone calls in the following days plus escalating to their management still the answer is a bluntly no. Well it just finishes me off with booking MH ever again.

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