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Malaysia Airlines' oneworld membership won't end non-alliance arrangements

7-Jun-2011 8:35 AM

Malaysia Airlines membership in oneworld will expand the alliance’s global coverage to almost 950 destinations in 150 countries, served by a combined fleet of more than 2600 aircraft operating some 10,000 flights a day and carrying 358 million passengers a year. VP for Sales and Marketing Datuk Bernard Francis said the designate member of oneworld, can be the "anchor for the world's leading quality airline alliance in the ASEAN region" because MAS was the only carrier in the ASEAN region elected as its member (Bernama, 06-Jun-2011). [more - oneworld] [more - Press Release #2]

Qantas will sponsor Malaysia Airlines' entry into the alliance, with CEO Alan Joyce adding that the carrier had been in discussions with MAS for some time and would work closely with both the airline and oneworld's management team to make the changes necessary for MAS to join the alliance (The Australian, 06-Jun-2011). The process is expected to take 18 months. Mr Joyce also said that Qantas would continue with its Singapore operations but the new alliances created opportunities for both airlines.

Qantas: “I think it opens up opportunities for Qantas going forward. We still will have a big operation in Singapore - Singapore is a very big local-origin and destination market for us and a big market in Europe. But we are very keen as part of Malaysian’s entry into oneworld to talk about how we can co-operate in the Malaysian and Southeast Asian markets. And that dialogue will continue. We think there is a lot of opportunity for us to work together." CEO, Alan Joyce. Source: The Australian, 06-Jun-2011.

MAS Managing director and CEO Tengku Datuk Seri Azmil Zahruddin stated its planned entry into oneworld does not mean a termination of its current arrangements with non-oneworld airlines, although there will be a need to review it, adding "There is no rule that states members can't cooperate with non-members. Overall our entry into oneworld changes the game and it will necessitate a review (of our network)." (Business Times, 07-Jun-2011). It is due to fly as a member of oneworld by 2013, following an extensive streamlining process that will allow for an effective transfer of passengers between member airlines as well as data sharing.