LONDON, July 2 (Bernama) -- Malaysia Airlines (MAS) begins its inaugural commercial flight on its London-Kuala Lumpur route with its new Airbus A380, committed to turn things around to recapture the glory days.
A fleet rejuvenation programme is well underway with service reforms throughout, from new seat arrangements to new cutlery and a newly renovated flagship lounge, to shore up the national airline's competitive edge.
It also features a new and distinctive corporate logo in shades of pure blue exclusively for the A380 fleet, and Malaysian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Eire Datuk Seri Zakaria Sulong quipped that MAS is coming of age and also hoped that it also meant that they are going "out of red ink" towards profitability.
Speaking to the Malaysian press after landing in Heathrow, MAS Chief Executive Officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said there is now "no more excuse" for his team and staff to make this moment count for the airline to be better.
"We want to be the best in the region as a full-service carrier. We want to be the preferred premium airline. Now that we have the assets, a new fleet of planes and many significant improvements to our services, we can truly work on what is needed to recover.
"Today we fly the world's most advanced passenger airliner here," he said while expressing the hope that the KL-London route would lead the change in MAS' fortunes.
On MAS' marketing strategy, Ahmad Jauhari said it is all about "having the right price structure" in order to capture the right customers at the right price.
"We are constantly aware of the pricing dynamics, our customers have different preferences. In being a premium airline, it's all about striking the correct balance," he added.
Since first entering service in 2007, A380s operated by airlines have exceeded all expectations, flying more people further at lower cost, while significantly reducing carbon emissions.
The spacious, quiet cabin and smooth ride have also made the A380 a firm favourite with passengers, resulting in higher load factors and increased profitability on all routes where the aircraft is operated.
It is capable of flying 8,300 nautical miles or 15,300 kilometres, enabling non-stop service with a full payload from Kuala Lumpur to any destination in Europe or one-stop service to major destinations in the US.
MAS will also introduce the A380 for its high-volume flights, the next being its Sydney-Kuala Lumpur route beginning Sept 25 running as the daily MH122/123 service also replacing the current Boeing 747-400.
Among other routes soon to be covered by the A380 are the Beijing and Narita routes.