Paris is the second city after London to have a scheduled A380 service from Kuala Lumpur.
Effective Friday, MAS’ capacity for the daily route between Kuala Lumpur and Paris CDG will increase by 75 per cent, up from 282 seats from the previously operated Boeing 777 to 494 seats on the Airbus A380 superjumbo.
The superjumbo operating flight MH20 was given a ceremonious send-off minutes prior to midnight, in a symbolic inaugural flight event at KLIA graced by MAS’ Group Chief Executive Officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya. The full-capacity A380 took off for Paris, 31 years after its maiden flight operations between the two cities on 2 April 1982.
Speaking at the boarding gate before the flight, Ahmad said that this represented another significant development for Malaysia Airlines.
The full-capacity flight was a sign that the increase of 75 per cent in capacity is indeed necessary, he said.
According to Ahmad, booking trends for March 2013 showed a 87 per cent hike for the Kuala Lumpur-Paris route and a phenomenal 123 per cent growth for the Paris-Kuala Lumpur route as compared to bookings in March 2012.
The A380 offers a high standard of comfort, luxury and ameneties on long-haul routes, allowing MAS to strengthen its position as a major premium carrier, hosting its passengers according to its famous motto of “Malaysian Hospitality.”
Three master-chefs were on board the inaugural flight to serve the gastronomic needs of the passengers. Chefs Ian Hall McKenzie, Zahiddin Dris and Michel Quissac were present to serve First and Business class guests who had booked their meals through the “Chef-on-Call” service. MAS had also prepared a special treat for all guests on board the inaugural flight; serving them with the famous French macaroons.
Quissac has also been engaged in a special collaboration to revamp the menu for the flight out of Paris.
MAS had ordered six A380 aircraft, and is the sixth airline worldwide to operate the biggest and most eco-efficient aircraft.
The fifth A380 aircraft was delivered on 22 Feb and the sixth, which is expected to be delivered in mid-March, will be the 100th superjumbo coming out of the Airbus production plant in Toulouse, France.