Malaysia Airlines ditches screens with new streamlined Boeing 737 business class
Malaysia Airlines has treated us to a first look at its revamped city-hopping Boeing 737-800NG, promising “a progressive step forward with its business and economy seating.”
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Mostly catering to short-haul destinations from its Kuala Lumpur headquarters, you may have never flown on Malaysia's fleet of 737s. However, as you can see below, they maximize plenty of space onboard.
Flyers can expect to enjoy the sleek new interior on select flights starting next month; they can choose from 12 business class seats, which line up in a 2-2 formation, and 162 economy class seats in a 3-3 configuration.
“We are thrilled to roll out the newly refreshed B737-800 NG, which will deliver future travel experiences through innovative features from seats to highly customizable inflight entertainment while staying true to our roots by incorporating Malaysian elements in the overall interior cabin design," said Lau Yin May, the group chief marketing officer of Malaysia Airlines, when announcing the new business class cabin.
May also added that the redesign was taken “in response to feedback and suggestions received through customer surveys and various focus group sessions in 2020 to better understand the needs of our customers.”
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Their focus groups clearly have good taste: Seats in both economy and business class are extremely easy on the eye, designed in a premium-looking blue — no mixed patterns, just deep blue upholstery on clean white frames.
Curtains and other cabin features pay homage to Malaysia’s rich heritage, while business seats are subtly trimmed with the same batik motif you might find on cabin staff uniforms, or occasionally stenciled onto the tail of the airplane.
The aircraft is designed in line with the airline’s ongoing sustainability efforts, severely reducing the weight of the aircraft by almost 1,500 pounds. The cuts could reduce a plane’s annual fuel consumption by roughly 24,000 gallons.
From late autumn, the airline will also kit out the B737-800 with the MHstudio — the “next generation wireless in-flight entertainment."
The controversial lack of inflight entertainment screens — which may feel like a loss to some aboard the short-haul aircraft — has also contributed to more “eco-friendly flying” by trimming weight across the cabins.
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As well as operating two first-rate lounges in Kuala Lumpur — the Platinum and Gold Lounges to be exact — Malaysia Airlines’ frequent flier program uses Enrich points.
Additionally, as a member of the Oneworld Alliance, you can book flights with Avios points while simultaneously scoring tier points with British Airways as you fly.
Related: Book This, Not That: Oneworld Award Flights
There’s certainly never been a better time to explore Malaysia and the surrounding countries. In March, the country flung its doors open to tourists following a two-year ban on foreign tourists.