Malaysia Airlines has confirmed it will be deploy its new Airbus A330neo aircraft to Melbourne from November, as it prepares to take delivery of the first example. 

Managing director of the airline’s parent company Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) Izham Ismail says the carrier also expects to operate the type to North Asia, Australia and New Zealand, as well as South Asia.

MAG A330neo

Source: Malaysia Aviation Group

Malaysia Airlines expects to take delivery of three A330neos this year, from a total commitment for 20 examples to replace its existing fleet of A330ceos.  

Izham, speaking in Kuala Lumpur on 22 March, also revealed the cabin products for the aircraft. Malaysia Airlines has selected Collins Aerospace and Recaro as the seat suppliers. 

The A330neos will be configured with 297 seats – 28 in business class and 269 in economy class. 

In business class, the airline will be first in the world to install Collins’s Elevation suites on an A330neo. 

The business-class seats – currently found on larger widebodies like the A350 and Boeing 777 – will feature privacy doors and direct-aisle access, a departure from Malaysia Airlines’ current staggered business-class product. 

In economy class, the airline has selected Recaro’s CL3810 seat, which will be installed with seatback inflight entertainment, as well as other features such as coat hooks and cup holders. 

The products will also be installed on its A350s “in order to make the customer experience seamless” across its widebody fleet, says Izham. The cabin retrofit will begin 2026. 

The airline’s seven A350s are configured to seat 286 passengers in a three-class configuration: four in ‘Business Suite’ class, 35 in business class and 247 in economy class. 

Malaysia Airlines confirms that following the retrofit, the ‘Business Suite’ product – formerly first class – will be eliminated, leaving the A350s in a two-class configuration. However, FlightGlobal understands no decision has been made yet on a final seat count. 

Malaysia Airlines also plans to introduce three more A350s over the next six years or so, bringing its total A350 fleet to 10. The carrier adds that the expanded fleet will allow it to grow its European network in the long term. 

Separately, Malaysia Airlines on 22 March announced the addition of Chiang Mai, Thailand, Da Nangin Vietnam and Male in the Maldives to its Asian network. The move comes as the airline “seeks to boost its presence within key markets, strengthening its position as the gateway to Asia and beyond in line with its commercial elevation journey”. 

Flights to Chiang Mai – operated five times weekly – will commence 15 August, while daily Da Nang flights will begin on 24 September. Malaysia Airlines will also launch daily flights to Male on 1 August.