When Malaysia Airlines introduced its Airbus A350 to service in December 2017 it was the only carrier to install a First Class cabin in the aircraft. That remains true to this day among over 20 operators of the aircraft type worldwide.
Malaysia currently flies its six A350s to London Heathrow, Osaka Kansai and Tokyo Narita from its Kuala Lumpur hub, but another route has joined the fold recently – KL to Sydney.
Now that it’s a regular fixture, the four First Class seats on this service are available for sale and award redemption, and this is one of your cheapest means to try out this new product.
Malaysia Airlines chose the Thompson Vantage XL First seat for its A350 First Class cabin. Designed as a Business Class seat, and indeed used by Qantas and EVA Air, the First class variety has some added features including closing doors, though these are also an option on the Business Class variety.
- 1-2-1 layout, with all seats featuring direct aisle access
- Total of four seats with enclosed monument and retractable privacy door (2 individual seats and two double seats)
- Seat pitch of 83 inches and width of 23 inches
- Full-flat bed length of 83 inches
- A pneumatic cushion to adjust seat firmness
- Capacitive seat control offering personalised lounge position, independent adjustable leg rest, and massage and lumbar system
- Individual 24-inch IFE with capacitive HD touchscreen (1080p) and multi-touch gesture, video handset, widescreen with LED backlighting
- Primary and secondary passenger control units
- Equipped with 115v AC PED power supply and USB 2.0 port
- Each seat comes with meal and cocktail table, feature light, vanity mirror, console stowage and a magazine rack
The cabin has one toilet for a maximum of four passengers, so queueing shouldn’t be an issue. There are two dedicated crew members to look after the First Class passengers on Kuala Lumpur to Sydney flights.
Seat 1A is slightly further forwards than the middle pair, with seat 1K slightly behind the middle pair, for additional privacy.
For the remainder of 2018 the A350 flies daily on the MH123/122 pairing, with the exception of specific ‘blocks’ of four days in a row.
|Flight||From / To||Aircraft||Days|
|MH123||KUL2335 – SYD1055*||359||Daily|
|MH122||SYD1310 – KUL1845||359||Daily|
* next day
Through the end of 2018, this schedule is applicable with the exception of the following dates (applies to MH123, for MH122 add 1 day):
- 21 – 24 Nov
- 1 – 4 Dec
- 12 – 15 Dec
- 23 – 26 Dec
These 4-day blocks do not follow specific days of the week, which makes it a little confusing. On these dates an A330-300 operates, without a First Class cabin. From 1st January 2019 however, the route is operated by the A350-900 on all dates.
Sydney award redemptions
|Malaysia redemption premium cabin award rates Kuala Lumpur to/from Sydney|
Note how American Airlines AAdvantage is by far the best return per mile here – just 50,000 miles for a one-way redemption from Kuala Lumpur to Sydney, or vice-versa, in First Class.
Not many of our readers have AAdvantage miles though, so after that you’re looking at 75,000 Asia Miles or 95,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer miles to secure this seat on the KL – Sydney sector.
We looked at availability on this route using the BA Avios site for the rest of November 2018 and December 2018. Here’s how the First Class availability looks from Kuala Lumpur to Sydney:
|November 2018 (MH123 KUL-SYD)|