An Emirates A380 landing at Los Angeles Airport – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter
It’s no secret that Malaysia Airlines had a terrible 2014. So terrible that the fate of the airline hangs in the balance. The government, tired of writing blank checks to keep the airline afloat, has demanded restructuring. Hiring Christoph Mueller (of Aer Lingus hatchet-man fame), they were, finally, not going to pull any punches.
Part of this is an impressive (rumored) fleet disposition. Winding down of the entire 777 fleet by the end of next year, complete dissolving of MASkargo, and the biggest elephant in the room of all; removal of their A380s.
Can becoming a regional airline centered around the A330 save Malaysia Airlines? I’m not hopeful, but that’s not what I am here to talk about today.
I want to discuss where the planes are likely to go.
A Malaysian Airlines flight operating from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur has crashed in Ukraine with 298 on board; 283 passengers and 15 crew. The tail number is reported to be 9M-MRD. The flight was operating as flight 17.
The plane, a Boeing 777-200ER, was delivered to Malaysia Airlines in 1997. The plane’s first flight was July 17, 1997, which is exactly 17 years before its crash. At this point, we know that the plane was taken down by a surface-to-air missile, but we are unsure who fired it.
9M-MRD, the plane in question with a different livery then at the time of the accident – Photo: marcusaffleck | Wikimedia Commons
This Boeing 777-200 (reg number: (9M-MRO) is the one in question with Malaysia Flight MH370 – Photo: Thomas Becker
Almost exactly one week after the Malaysian authorities confirmed that MH370 operating from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing had gone missing – today, in an astonishing turn of events, the government confirmed that Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 was hijacked. They have further confirmed that the aircraft was steered off course and flown for nearly seven hours. To where, they have not yet confirmed.
There is so much innuendo and speculation floating around, AirlineReporter’s senior staff thought we should throw our hats into the ring.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
ADDITIONAL MALAYSIA AIRLINES AIRBUS A380 PHOTOS (even more on Flickr):