Malaysia Airlines rebrands First Class to ‘Business Suites’

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Malaysia Airlines has rebranded the first class product offered on its Airbus A350-900s and A380s as ‘Business Suite’.

The Carrier announced the rebrand of its First Class cabin to Business Suite offering passengers what it defines as a ‘new levels of luxury’. Although this change is mainly in name only, Business Suite passengers will still enjoy the same meals, drinks, inflight amenities, pyjamas and lounge access as they would have done if they remained in ‘first class’. However more importantly it seems one key benefits of this change is that the new price will be pitched halfway between business and first.

The airline promised to start this change on 12th December 2018 and the Business Suites will initially be available on all of its A350-900 and A380-800s.  This means it will be available on the London, Tokyo, Osaka route and on the Sydney and Seoul route during the winter season.  

But why introduce a change which feels more of a devaluation in service?

We realise that with the recent economic situation a lot of people have moved away from first class, and a lot of corporate passengers now have the limitation of not flying first class (due to) corporate policy; So we want to cater to that market and open it up.

Lau Yin May, Malaysia Airlines’ Head of Customer Experience tells Australian Business Traveller.

In other words: passengers seeking a better-than-business-class experience can fly in what is ostensibly first class but book it under the more innocuous banner of Business Suites.

A points perspective

From a points-earning perspective, Business Suites passengers will earn the same number of Enrich Miles as did first class (again, under the same A, F and P fare categories). Although how Oneworld partners classify Business Suites earning rates under their own frequent flyer schemes remains to be seen.

Although, as a reflection of the revised pricing scheme, redeeming frequent flyer points on a Business Suite trips will require fewer points than today’s first class but more than business class.

Product summary

Business Suite on A380-800 

  • Located on the main deck with 1-2-1 seat formation.
  • Total of 8 seats with enclosed monument (4 individual seats and 2 double seats).
  • Seat pitch of 89 inches and bed width of 40 inches  
  • Full flat-bed length of 87 inches.
  • Individual 23-inch IFE screen with widescreen aspect ratio of 16:9.
  • Each seat comes with its personal closet and stowage for coat, luggage, laptop and personal belongings A350-900.

Business Suite on A350-900

  • 1-2-1 seat formation with direct aisle access.
  • Total of 4 seats with enclosed monument and retractable privacy door (2 individual seats and 2 double seats).
  • Seat pitch of 83 inches and width of 23 inches.
  • Full-flat bed length of 83 inches.
  • Capacitive seat control offering personalised lounge position, independent adjustable leg rest, and massage and lumbar system.
  • Individual 24-inch IFE with capacitive touchscreen and multi-touch gesture, video handset, widescreen, High-Definition clarity (1080p) with LED backlighting.
  • Each seat comes with meal and cocktail table, feature light, vanity mirror, console stowage and magazine rack.

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