KUALA LUMPUR : Malaysia Airlines' first Airbus A380 aircraft touched down at the KL International Airport (KLIA) Friday.
Commanded by Captain Norshid Ali, Flight MH5439 from Toulouse had 91 guests and selected MAS staff on board.
They included MAS Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, Malaysia Airports CEO Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad, Department of Civil Aviation Director-General Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman and senior Ministry of Finance officials, a MAS statement said.
The aircraft received a traditional water cannon salute as it taxied towards the airport's A380-equipped terminal.
Speaking at the welcoming ceremony, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha said he was pleased to note that despite the mounting continuous challenges in the global commercial aviation industry, MAS has met its obligation to fulfil the corporate objectives required by the government.
"The arrival of the A380 today is proof that the national carrier has once again taken the lead to support the nation's aspirations to be a leader in trade and tourism activities," Kong said.
Earlier, Ahmad Jauhari said the A380 is part of MAS' fleet renewal initiative to bring a new level of product and experience to the airline's guests.
MAS will take delivery of more Boeing B737-800, Airbus A330-300 and another three A380 aircraft later in the year, he added.
MAS cabin crew also hosted a guided static tour of the double-deck aircraft for around 50 guests, comprising officials from the Ministry of Transport, senior airport officials and members of the media.
Meanwhile, in conjunction with the A380 arrival, the Transport Minister also officiated the opening of the upgraded Malaysia Airlines' flagship Golden Lounge at the KLIA Satellite Building, the statement added.
The upgraded Golden Lounge has two seating areas comprising the Platinum lounge for Enrich Platinum members and First Class guests, as well as another zone for Enrich Gold members, Business Class guests and front-end passengers of customer airlines.
The 43,284 sq ft (4,019 sq m) facility, which is open 24 hours daily, accommodates a maximum of 326 passengers in the Business Class zone and 64 passengers in the First Class zone.
To enhance the overall customer experience for Malaysia Airlines' guests, MAS cabin crew are on hand to serve guests in the Lounge, the statement said. (Bernama)