Malaysia Airlines will begin flying its new Airbus A350 fleet to London in the second quarter of 2018, with the advanced fuel-efficient jets replacing the Airbus A380 superjumbos.
The airline expects the first of six leased A350s to arrive at the end of this year, and is likely to roster the debutante jet onto selected regional and Asia-Pacific routes in the first few months of 2018.
The A350s will sport a small first class cabin of four suites, which are expected to be based on the Vantage XL seat from Ireland's Thompson Aero Seating...
... ahead of business class, which will use the Vantage business class seats of the airline's Airbus A330s (shown below).
The A380 superjumbos which currently ply the KL-London skies will be stripped back to an "ultra-high capacity" configuration (read: almost entirely economy class) and, in the third quarter of 2018, handed over to Malaysia Airlines' new offshoot aimed at serving the bustling Muslim market for Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia.
In presenting a quarterly update on Malaysia Airlines' journey back to profitability, CEO Peter Bellew also flagged a replacement for the Airbus A330-300 fleet, with both the Airbus A330neo and Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner in the frame "for possible delivery in 2018 and 2019".