You’ll find Malaysia Airlines’ relatively modern A330 Business Class on flights between Auckland and Kuala Lumpur. This particular flight was the continuation of a trip from London to Sydney.
Award availability using points – such as Qantas Points or Asia Miles – is usually decent, so Malaysia Airlines can offer a decent alternative to Qantas and Emirates when redeeming points for travel to Asia or the UK.
Fleet & Routes
Malaysia Airlines fly to Kuala Lumpur from Auckland, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide, all on two-cabin Airbus A330s with lie-flat Business Class seats, although the Perth flight switched to a Boeing 737 with recliner seats from October 2017.
Their A350 and A380 also make sporadic appearances on some routes at different times of year, which is likely to increase as they receive more A350s in their fleet too. You’ll have to check your planned flight to see which Malaysia Airlines plane you’ll receive for your trip.
Malaysia Airlines routes from New Zealand and Australia do not feature First Class
The Malaysia Airlines A330 Cabin
All of Malaysia Airlines’ A330s feature lie-flat seats:
Malaysia Airlines Business Class on the A330 is in a staggered layout, with a handful of solo throne seats alternating backwards with pairs of seats on either side of a central aisle of pairs.
Finding the right seat for your particular travel situation is going to go a long way towards an enjoyable flight, with the single throne seats obviously in demand from solo travellers, and the pairs more suitable for those with companions.
The throne seats do have a slightly more cramped footwell due to the surrounding two seats in front. For the long-legged with a long redeye flight this may be a reason to avoid them.
There’s the usual range of seat controls to get you comfortable, a few different storage options, and the seat is also dressed with a cover and mattress pad to make it more comfortable.
Service: Food & Drink
I’ve found the food on offer on Malaysia Airlines flights to be consistently good, especially the authentic Malaysian options – and yes, that includes the mid-flight inevitable binge on Satay.
Malaysia Airlines IFE system was lacking somewhat in choice, at least to my taste, but entertained me adequately for the flight from KL to Sydney. There’s room for improvement here.
How to redeem points for Malaysia Airlines flights
Malaysia Airlines’ own Enrich program has turned revenue-based as of June 2017, wiping out its good value.
Business Class passengers of Malaysia Airlines have access to oneworld partner lounges such as the Qantas Auckland International Business Lounge.
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Summing up: Why choose this flight?
Malaysia Airlines is a good option for travellers from New Zealand. It’s certainly not an aircraft to avoid, with full lie-flat seating with a good enough amount of space for the hop up to Kuala Lumpur.
When it comes to redeeming points, it’s a useful option to know about. You’ll also find some aggressive sale fares crop up every so often as Malaysia try to boost their market share in the region.
That said, seat choice is important, as I outlined above. If you don’t find the right seat(s) for your travel party it will make for a noticeably less comfortable journey.