Malaysia Airlines new widebody strategy: A350s replace A380s, additional A330ceos & premium economy

Malaysia Airlines has adjusted its widebody fleet plan and is looking to resume modest growth with additional A330s that could be delivered in 2018 and 2019. Malaysia Airlines is also now preparing for a quick transition from the A380 to A350 in late 2017 and early 2018. Its six A380s will be replaced by six leased A350s, which are slated for delivery from Oct-2017 to May-2018 in a four-class 287-seat configuration, including premium economy.

Initially Malaysia Airlines is planning to introduce premium economy on all its A330s and A380s, with a product launch in late 2016. However, Malaysia Airlines is not following most of its Asian competitors in purchasing separate premium economy seats; instead it will offer standard economy class seats with extra legroom, along with an upgraded in-flight product.

The changes to the widebody fleet and product form one of several components of a new business plan that attempts to position the restructured airline for profitability and growth. Phasing out the A380 fleet is essential, yet potential challenges in remarketing these aircraft pose a major threat to its future outlook.

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