Thursday, May 31, 2012

Airbus A380 arrives for Malaysian Airlines – 10 years after it was ordered

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has taken delivery of its first A380, becoming the eighth operator of the world’s largest and most eco-efficient airliner. The aircraft was handed over to MAS Group Chief Executive Officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya by Airbus Chief Operating Officer Fabrice Brégier in Toulouse, France on Tuesday 29th May 2012.

The MAS Airbus A380, landed safely at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on 30th May 2012.

Almost a decade after it was first ordered, the world’s largest and fuel-efficient A380 aircraft finally landed on Malaysian soil at 3.35pm, Wednesday, 30th May 2012.

It was a major advancement in air travel for Malaysia Airlines (MAS) as it joined the elite A380 club.

The 73m-long technological wonder can carry up to 494 passengers and offers one of the best seating arrangements in the industry for its first-class cabin, where the seats are as big as a single bed, measuring 40 inches by 87 inches.

It will take to the skies for commercial flights on July 1, 2012 on the much lucrative KL-London-KL route as a thrice-weekly KL-London service, before going daily in August 2012.

MAS will also introduce the A380 to its Sydney-Kuala Lumpur route beginning Sept 25, 2012 running as the daily MH122/123 service, replacing the current Boeing 747-400.

A second A380 will be added by August 2012 and two others Airbus A380 will be added into the MAS fleet by early next year.

In 2003, MAS ordered six A380 and the first delivery was supposed to be in 2007 but it had to endure a five-year delay by the aircraft manufacturer.

On board the A380 were MAS top brass, comprising group CEO Ah­­mad Jauhari Yahya and a technical team.

After the handing over ceremony in Toulouse on Tuesday, 29th May 2012, the flight took off at about 8pm (French time) to KLIA.

Soon after its arrival, the aircraft was moved to Hangar 6 for some final touches.

The aircraft is slated to return to Toulouse on June 6, 2012, for some additional touches.

MAS chairman Tan Sri Md Nor Yusof said: “It is a nice (enough) reason for us to motivate and start anew. The aircraft is actually very elegant despite its size.’’

Ahmad Jauhari added: “It is a new beginning as far as uplifting of ser­vices and product level is concerned.

“We are excited as it provides an opportunity for us to demonstrate to the market and our customers that we can be best in the region (again) in terms of product and services.”

Ahmad Jauhari said having the fleet of A380s would give MAS an opportunity to reclaim its glory.

"Our fleet of A380s will be the newest in the region. We will also introduce products and services which we believe will stand out from our competitors.

"We really want to be the best in the region again and we are doing all that we can, both in short- and long-term initiatives to achieve this objective."

MAS is the eighth carrier to take delivery of the A380 aircraft. Well done MAS.

Meanwhile Bloomberg reported earlier this week that seats on MAS first-class are five inches wider than the competition.

MAS passengers on such seats will have more space than on a single-bed mattress.

MAS area manager for United Kingdom & Ireland, Yuzrizal Yousuf described the report as one of the many initiatives in place to reinforce the airline's position as a leader in the premium market.

"With the new A380, we can expect an extra 3,000 seats to be sold in the coming July/August 2012 period. The demand for seats on the A380 has been high.

"With a month to go, our figures show that 80 per cent of the available seats have already been snapped up."

All the Best MAS.

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