Malaysia Airlines starts flying its first 737 MAX 8

First of 25 737 MAX 8 Malaysia Airlines has on order

Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG), which is the parent company of Malaysia Airlines, has recently received its first Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.

MAG calls it a 737-8, and the industry is likely to use the 737-8 name increasingly to refer to it.

This aircraft is the first of 25 737 MAX 8s that MAG has ordered from Air Lease Corporation (ALC). They will be delivered in stages until 2026.

Currently, six Airbus A350-900 aircraft are also on long-term lease to the airline from ALC.

The aircraft has already made its first flight. That was from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu.

The airline plans to use the 737 MAX 8 to destinations within Malaysia, before expanding across ASEAN and Asia as more of the aircraft type enters into service.

The Journey of Malaysia Airlines’ First 737-8

Cabin layout

The 737 MAX 8 has a cabin similar to the new design the airline introduced last year on its 737-800 NG aircraft.

The cabin has 174 seats in a two class layout:

  • 12 Business Class, in a 2-2 layout
  • 162 Economy Class, in a 3-3 layout

Future plans include the introduction of high-quality internet connectivity, which will mark the first time MAG has installed this feature onto its narrowbody fleet.

Earlier this month, Malaysia Airlines started providing free unlimited Wi-Fi on 20 widebody aircraft, regardless of cabin class or loyalty tier.

Fleet modernisation

As part of its modernisation plans, MAG is undergoing a refurbishment of 39 of its 47 B737-800 NG aircraft, which is targeted to be completed in early 2024.

In addition, the Group recently acquired one A350-900 aircraft and will be receiving 20 Airbus 330neo aircraft, with the first delivery scheduled in September 2024.

Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin, Group Chairman of MAG:

“With the induction of our new Boeing 737-8, it will allow us to enhance customer experience, improve operational and fuel efficiency, and meet our future network growth requirements to support our vision for the national carrier. The inclusion of the 737-8 in our fleet holds more significance than just refreshing our ageing aircraft. It acts as a meaningful bridge, connecting our history with a new era, aligning with our Long-Term Business Plan 2.0 goals as we work towards becoming Asia’s leading travel and aviation services group.”

Internet links

Malaysia Airlines (MH)

Boeing 737 MAX