Malaysia Airlines Airbus A380 flying over the Farnborough Airshow.

Malaysia Airlines Airbus A380 flying over the Farnborough Airshow.

Malaysia Airlines recently took delivery of their first Airbus A380 and brought its second to the Farnborough Airshow to show it off.

Invited guests were allowed to take a tour of the interior and everyone with-in sight of the airport was able to see the A380 perform in the sky.

Like other A380's, the cockpit is huge.

Like other A380’s, the cockpit is huge.

If the livery doesn’t look familiar to you, that is because the airline decided to give all their A380’s a special livery. The livery was a surprise (or a last minute decision), since the aircraft first flew with the standard livery on the tail. When seeing the design in photos, I wasn’t so sure what to think about it, but it really pops in person.

The main problem is the outside color scheme doesn’t match the inside. While the outside uses different shades of blue, the interior uses reds, which is a bit of a mind boggle when first boarding, but I am sure most people won’t even notice.

First Class is found on the lower deck.

First Class is found on the lower deck.

The airline decided to put their eight First Class seats, which are laid out in a 1-2-1 formation, on the main deck, at the front. First Class are mini-suites that contain a lay-flat bed, 89″ pitch, 23″ screen, power at the seat and a personal closet. To create a sense of height (literally), there are not overhead bins in First Class.

I have to say that the product seemed quite impressive, but I was not a fan of the materials and colors. A bit too much red and brown for my taste, but it could be cultural. I think I could probably get over the coloring and enjoy the product.

A Business Class seats in sleaping and eating positions.

A Business Class seats in sleeping and eating positions.

Business Class is found on the front part of the upper deck and is in a 2-2-2 configuration. The 66 full flat seats have a 74″ pitch, a 17″ screen and a power supply.

This Business Class is a pretty standard product out in the industry today — which is not a bad thing. There seemed to be plenty of storage (especially those seats up stairs with the side-bins) and the color I liked.

Each Economy seat has a pretty large screen and a iTouch remote.

Each Economy seat has a pretty large screen and a iTouch remote.

Economy is set up in a 2-4-2 on the upper deck and 3-4-3 on the main deck. They offer 32″ of pitch, seat power, and a 10.6″ screen.

If you are going to be flying in economy, trying getting a seat on the upper deck. Not only do you get to feel special for being on the upper deck, but if you score a window seat, you will be rewarded with extra arm room and a cubby between your seat and the wall.

Flight crew have 12 bunks, three high, located at the rear of the upper deck.

Flight crew have 12 bunks, three high, located at the rear of the upper deck.

One thing you will not find in the First Class cabin or the entire upper deck are baby bassinets. That is because Malaysia Airlines will only allow babies to fly in the economy section on the main deck.

Pilot rest area behind the cockpit.

Pilot rest area behind the cockpit.

Behind the cockpit, there are three small rooms. Two are rest areas for the pilots and one is their private lavatory. The cockpit is located between the A380’s two decks, so it takes a few steps to get in.

The actual cockpit itself is huge. We had about six people in it with no problem what-so-ever. You could really throw a party up there, but it is probably best to just stick with flying.

The Airbus A380 shows its moves at the airshow.

The Airbus A380 shows its moves at the airshow.

It was all well and fun checking out the inside of the A380, but the real impressive part was seeing this beast in the air, doing aggressive maneuvers during Farnborough. I am sure A380 pilots do not get to experience flying the world’s largest airliners like that very often. What a great treat for them and for those of us on the ground.

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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me:
Tour of Air New Zealand’s Koru Club at LAX
Kyle D

I thought this a/c was their second A380.


You are correct. This one, MSN81, is their second one.



Impressive! Simply impressive.

RH Hastings

It would be interesting to see those “few steps” to the cockpit.

And, considering the A380’s delivered thru 2013 have the hybrid (carbon fiber / aluminum) wing design that are being recalled for repair, I’m surprised they allowed this aircraft to fly those extreme maneuvers.

And, even though I’m biased toward the Boeing flight control system, this A380 cockpit is beautiful, joy stick and all!

Great photos, inside & out!


The changes to the A380 wing to address the cracking issue are relatively minor. The wing fill still be a carbon / aluminium hybrid structure. However some components will now be made out of a different aluminium alloy. In addition the manufacturing process is being changed, and maybe the shape of some parts will be tweaked a bit.

As for the aggressive manoeuvring, don’t forget that at an airshow the plane will be carrying 400-odd fewer passengers than normal, as well as no cargo and a light fuel load, that will reduce the loads on the airframe quite a bit.


Whoops, typo in the first sentence: fill = will.

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