Saturday, 23 March 2013
Malindo Air is Malaysia’s newest airline with the tagline ‘Not Just Low Cost’. It seems to be positioning itself between full-service carrier Malaysia Airlines, and low-cost carrier AirAsia. To experience what this means, I got myself a promotional ticket of RM38 for one-way flight Kuala Lumpur KUL to Kuching KCH, whose service starts today. In fact I am on the second flight for the day — I skip the first ever KUL-KCH flight earlier today because it’s just too early for a non-morning person like me.
So here’s my story of today’s flight from KUL to KCH. Remember, Malindo Air started operations only yesterday with Kuala Lumpur KUL – Kota Kinabalu BKI service, and today they start KUL – KCH flights. It’s a brand new carrier with brand new Boeing 737-900ER planes, the latest model in the 737 family … and that is incentive enough! Not bad for an airline only announced just 19 months ago.
We are full of anticipation … only the printer wouldn’t print the boarding passes, so the supervisor comes over.
Otherwise smooth check-in for all.
We are on the second ever KUL-KCH flight. Skipped the first one — too early for me.
Waiting to board, and the crew is being relieved — they just arrived from KCH, the first service.
Business class seats — looking supple and pliant.
Our class, equally supple and pliant. No kidding, it really is comfy, better than MAS’s and AirAsia’s.
Boarding in progress — cabin is permeated with this plasticky smell — new-plane-smell if you ever know one. I prefer new-car-smell any time.
Looking at the back of the plane, still empty — for some reason they board first 20 rows. Maybe the trainee got confused?
The much-mentioned inflight entertainment — pretty good actually.
And the even much-more-mentioned legroom. No argument, one of the best in the world for similar class.
Finally, ready for push-back and start.
Everybody is also ready and comfortable, I am at Seat 20A.
Heading for Runway 32R at KLIA.
Safety demo, so far so good.
Posing for Anjung Tinjau spotters.
At Runway 32R for take-off.
… and climbing, initially to 29,000ft. Nice shiny wings.
Big bold black arrows on the wing.
Inflight entertainment system — not too crowded with contents. Just nice for short hauls.
Settings — intuitive and simple.
Adele is still hot.
Below screen, extreme left, at the display casing, we have small (3.5mm) jack for normal headphones, unknown receptacle (for gamepad I presume) and USB for charging.
Snack is served …
… included in my RM38 ticket, so can’t complain much.
Cool stuff above our heads.
We have company while cruising above the South China Sea.
Descending into Kuching Airport.
Losing height rapidly.
On finals for Kuching Airport Runway 07.
Kuching International Airport KCH.
A splendid afternoon here in Kuching. What a pleasant joyflight we just had from Kuala Lumpur. I think Malindo Air is seriously going to give both Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia a good fight, which should be great for us consumers.
Bye-bye, till we meet again tomorrow evening for the return flight to KUL.
Footnote: The return leg OD1621 on 24 March 2013 went exceedingly well — here’s a slideshow of photos taken during the flight.
Here’s a video of the above flight OD1608 on 23 March 2013. Please view in HD, thanks!
HD video of the return flight OD1621 on 24 March 2013 is here.
> THE END