Rather than having an A380 super jumbo marooned on the ground in Kuala Lumpur between long-haul missions, Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is now using the superjumbo for a daily Hong Kong service.
The short stage flight linking the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur with Hong Kong got underway last Wednesday.
MAS operates this route twice a day, with the A380 replacing the former two-class A330-300 service. MAS’ second flight is flown by a narrow-bodied and two-class B737-800.
It might seem a strange decision but all that MAS is doing is following in the footsteps of regional rivals Thai and SIA who both use their A380s on the Hong Kong route (from Bangkok and Singapore respectively) during ‘downtime’.
The other reason is that these carriers can showcase their very best products to the Hong Kong market. Travellers there may, in the past, only have sampled the regional services offered by MAS, Thai and SIA which, although good, do not meet the higher standards afforded by these carriers’ long-haul products.
MAS’ A380 accommodates 494 passengers in a three class layout. There are eight first class seats on the lower deck, 66 business class seats upstairs and 350 economy seats spread over both decks.
The super jumbo will operate flight MH72 from Kuala Lumpur which departs at 0915 and arrives into Hong Kong at 1305. It returns from Hong Kong as MH73, departing at 1445 and arriving into Kuala Lumpur at 1825.
Fans of MAS and its A380 will have spotted that the new service will enable travellers from London and Paris CDG (both served by MAS’ A380) to travel right through to Hong Kong on the super jumbo.
The inbound flights from Europe into Kuala Lumpur provide a good connection. But on the way back it’s not so good. The transit time (between the time MH73 lands in Kuala Lumpur and the departure time of the overnight A380 flights to London and Paris) is around five hours.
For more information visit malaysiaairlines.com.
Report by Alex McWhirter