I was super excited when Malindo Air dropped me an e-mail inviting me for their inaugural media flight from KL to Kuching. Double excited when my blog buddy and BFF, LadjJava was invited as well. This inaugural flight was unique as we were on board Boeing’s 7500th 737! The first 737 was was delivered to Lufthansa in 1967. This new 737 is fitted with the new Boeing Sky Interior that brings in the new modern designed interior similar to the Boeing 787 with LED lighting, larger pivoting overhead bins and a greater feeling of spaciousness.
7500th Boeing 737 (9M-LNF).
The flight was even more unique as there were only 50 invited guests and media (13 being bloggers) and the rest were paying passengers. It was great seeing all the people (some who had no idea) enjoying the experience.
For your information, Malindo Air is a joint venture airline between Lion Air of Indonesia and the National Aerospace and Defense Industries (NADI) of Malaysia and the airline name takes after the two countries in the partnership (Malaysia & Indonesia). Hence the name Malindo Air. Malindo Air currently flies to Kuching and Kota Kinabalu.
The flight was awesome. Seated in the Economy Class, I got to enjoy the in-flight entertainment. Something that I didn’t get on board Air Asia during my Hong Kong trip last month. One thing missing is the earphones, though. I normally carry earphones but lately I have been travelling without one because the earphones’ jack on my laptop is not working. Perhaps earphones is something that will be provided for free soon.
Personal TV for everyone. Yay!
There’s also USB Port. (Soon, there will be Internet connection, something that we social media freaks are looking forward to! )
Views from my window seat.
Other than that, Economy Class passenger enjoys up to 15kg free hold luggage, light snacks (sandwich and mineral water) and plush leather seats with 32″ seat pitch. Comparison to other airlines: AirAsia’s 29″, AirAsia X 32″ and MAS 34″. (*Thanks to Sedunia Travel for the comparison info.)
As for Business Class, service comes with 45 inches legroom, delicious meals and 30kg free bag allowance, allowing passenger to travel in absolute comfort.
The flight to Kuching took about one and a half hour and when it was time to descent, I was about to sleep (haha!) but anyway the touch down was very smooth and guess what? We had a water cannon salute upon arrival!
Some had no clue that it was water cannon and thought it was raining!
All the invited guests and media were escorted to Media Room, VIP Terminal, Kuching International Airport for a press conference and welcoming ceremony. We were welcomed by YBhg Dato’ Rashid Khan (Chief Executive Officer of Sarawak Tourism Board). Also present during the conference was Mr Chandran Rama Muthy (Chief Executive Officer of Malindo Air) and YB Datuk Amar Haji Abang Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Abang Haji Openg (Honorable Minister of Housing and Minister of Tourism Sarawak).
During the press conference, Chief Executive Officer Chandran Rama Muthy said that Malindo Air’s next destination is Miri and India in June. It also aims for direct flights from Borneo to China and Hong Kong by early 2014. On expansion plans, he said right now the idea is to make Malaysia a transit hub for tourists coming in with Lion Air and also from the Malindo Air network.
Malindo Air is expected to have 12 units of Boeing 737-900ER aircraft by year-end.
I am happy to be part of the inaugural flight as it was much more than just a flight. As a budget traveller, paying low fares but still benefiting from in-flight services without hidden extra costs is something that I look for.
Thank you Malindo Air for being not just low cost!
Who? Malindo Air – Not Just Low Cost
What? Currently fly to Kuching (4X daily) and Kota Kinabalu (3X daily)
How much? RM78 to Kuching and RM108 (Promo price until 15 May 2013. Online booking)
Photo: Malindo Air.