Malaysia Airlines appears set to deploy its double-decker Airbus A380 aircraft on one of its flights to and from Seoul this winter, providing fans of the superjumbo an opportunity to fly it despite the airline having largely removed it from regular service.
Starting October 28, the aircraft will take over the airline’s daily MH066 and MH067 flights from the A330-300, continuing on until March 14, 2019. The airline’s other five-times-weekly flight on the route will continue to be flown by the A330.
The aircraft is a major upgauge in terms of capacity, with the superjumbo offering a total of 486 seats to the A330’s 290.
Most notably for passengers, the A380 offers three rather than two classes, including eight first class seats at the front of the main deck. These are laid out in a 1-2-1 configuration and recline to offer a fully flat bed that is 89 inches long and 40 inches wide.
The seats themselves feature leather trimmings while suede is used on the inside of the suite, alongside a granite cocktail table. The A380’s first class cabin also has the largest in-flight entertainment (IFE) screens in the airline’s fleet at 23 inches.
In business class, the A380 offers 66 seats compared to the A330-300’s 27, however these are configured 2-2-2 rather than 1-2-1 in the smaller aircraft, meaning not all passengers receive unhindered aisle access. That being said, the seats are nonetheless fully flat and recline to form a bed that’s 77 inches long, while the IFE screen comes in at 17 inches.
Business Traveller reviewed the business class offering on the A380 earlier this year.
For the economy cabin, the A380’s 412 seats are largely laid out 10-across in a 3-4-3 configuration, though there is a small cabin of seats at the back of the upper deck that are laid out in an eight-abreast 2-4-2 set up.
Despite being a popular aircraft among travellers, Malaysia Airlines has largely removed its superjumbos from regular service to instead focus on pilgrimage traffic on routes to the Middle East.
Malaysia Airlines expects to shift its six A380s to a separate company in the third quarter of 2018 in order to serve these travellers, though in the interim the carrier is deploying the A380 opportunistically on select high-traffic routes during peak periods.