The launch of Malaysia Airlines' all-new business class marks the latest step on the beleaguered airline's road to recovery – or a 'hard reset', in the words of CEO Christoph Mueller, the first non-Malaysian to hold that post.
Here's what you need to know about the new seats which Mueller believes will be crucial in making the Malaysian flag-carrier a competitive world-class premium airline.
1. Ready for take-off
April 2016 is when the first of Malaysia Airlines' Airbus A330-300 jets will begin flying with the new seats. Australia and Asia will be the primary markets, and we'd not be surprised to see Sydney or Melbourne as first destinations.
But the airline aims to upgrade its entire 15-strong fleet of A330s by September 2016, a span of merely five months – an incredibly fast and aggressive schedule which underscore's Mueller's drive.
2. A330s only
The new 20.6 inch (52cm) wide seats are intended only for Malaysia Airlines' A330 jets, not the new A380 superjumbos – some of which the airline is looking or lease or sell as it 'right-sizes' – nor the older Boeing 777-200ERs, which will be retired in favour of new long-range Airbus A350 jets from 2017.
3. Finally, fully lie-flat beds
For business travellers, this will be one of the most welcome traits of the new A330 business class.
The current A330 seats are a 'sloping sleeper' design: while they convert to a flat bed, this remains perched at a noticeable angle to the floor, rather than being a fully flat 180 degrees.
In bed-mode, the new seats will measure 76 inches (1.93 metres) from head to toe and be dressed "with plush bed linen".
4. Direct aisle access for almost everyone
Fully flat beds are one hallmark of modern business class seating; another is that each passenger has direct access to the aisle, rather than being forced to step over their seatmate.
Malaysian Airlines' new business class seat doesn't quite go that far: of the 27 seats in the aircraft's pointy end, three will still be one passenger away from the aisle.
That's due to the relatively unusual cabin layout, which alternates one row of 1-2-1 seating with a 1-2-2 row. Savvy travellers will soon learn to avoid those paired window seats (which are likely to be 2K, 4K and 6K).
For what it's worth, an identical staggered layout appears on the Airbus A330s of Aer Lingus (as seen below) and Finnair, which sport the same Vantage seat, designed by Irish seatmaker Thompson Aero, as Malaysia Airlines.
5. Game of thrones
Another quirk of this layout is that at least two of those 27 seats will be highly coveted 'throne' seats, named because the seat itself is positioned between a pair of side tables or shelves.
The business class cabins of both Aer Lingus, Finnair (below) and Swiss also boast a handful of throne seats, and they're the prize pick for solo flyers.
6. Mod cons and creature comforts
Other treats for the business traveller will include 16 inch touchscreen video panel, AC and USB power outlets plus more space, both for spreading out your work and storing your inflight kit close at hand.
7. But fewer seats to go around
A downside of Malaysia Airlines' new business class: the total number of seats in the cabin will drop from 36 to 27, owing to the shift towards providing more space (and direct aisle access) for these premium passengers.
Fewer seats may not necessarily equate to higher fares, but it will more likely mean less chance of an upgrade using frequent flyer points or bidding with cash through the airline's MHupgrade system.
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