On 21 July, the flag carrier of Malaysia, Malaysia Airlines unveiled the much-awaited and needed newly refreshed Boeing 737-800NG aircraft, its regional workhorse. The retrofit measure could arguably be a controversial one, as this latest move will see the removal of PTVs or Personal TV screens.
Instead, passengers will be treated by high-speed Wifi, with its newly touched innovative in-flight entertainment – MHstudio, and the refurbished interior will pay tribute to Malaysian culture and identity. The new seating will be lighter and eco-friendlier than their predecessor.
The newly designed cabin will be slated for a July 2022 first flight, and slowly the airline will refurbish its cabin for more domestic and regional routes as there are currently 38 aircraft awaiting to be refreshed.
Lau Yin May, Group Chief Marketing and Customer Experience Officer of Malaysia stated with excitement and enthusiasm:
“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 customisable inflight entertainment while staying true to our roots by incorporating Malaysian elements in the overall interior cabin design.”
“The cabin refurbishment exercise began in 2021, a bold step taken by the airline 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.”
“This demonstrates Malaysia Airlines’ commitment to adapting to changing consumer needs and in improving the overall customer experience in the post-pandemic era.”
“We are pleased to share that our in-flight entertainment is a game changer offering extensive media content, including award-winning local and international movies and TV series, as well as in-flight shopping. All of these are done to give our guests a taste of the warmth and hospitality that Malaysia Airlines is known for whenever they travel with us.”
With the cabin being revamped and refreshed, this will inevitably attract more new fliers. The seat tones themselves match the fresh and vibrant colour signature of blue, which matches the design language of Malaysia Airlines.
The new cabin is a sign that the airline is willing to elevate itself to become a modern and progressive flag carrier. The new identity upgrade is much needed for the ailing Malaysian carrier, giving way to other South East Asian airlines like Singapore Airlines.
Moreover, passengers boarding the new refreshed cabin will also notice the high-level craftsmanship that the airline has to offer. The iconic Malaysian design ‘batik’ will be recognisable through the stitches in the seats.
The newly designed seats will be much friendlier to the airline and to passengers. The seats will be built with a lower gross weight, which will result in less fuel burn thus being more efficient per flight. In fact, removing PTVs will contribute to 8% in carbon emissions per flight, which is impressive in doing such refurbishment.
For passengers, comfort will be increased due to its economical design and considerations. Each seat will come with personal device holders and individual power outlets for passengers to juice up their devices.
Despite taking a risky move in removing the screens, the airline is banking on the interdependence between man and their beloved smartphones to keep them entertained. The airline also introduced a revamp MHStudio entertainment platform for passengers to stream via their devices.
In addition, passengers can also shop online through the app. Duty-Free on board Malaysian Airlines will become easier than ever. Moreover, snacks and drinks can also be bought by the buy-on-board feature called MHskysnacks. This brings convenience to passengers even more so on future Malaysia Airlines flights.
Yin May added with positivity: “It is becoming increasingly important that we do everything with sustainability in mind. The all-new features of our refreshed B737-800 NG fleet will reduce our carbon footprint from the reduction of the weight of each aircraft .”
“With the much lighter seats, use of soft cabin dividers and moving away from seatback screens to offer innovative in-flight entertainment features allowing for wireless streaming on board at their convenience.”