Kuala Lumpur (MALAYSIA AIRLINES) - Gulf Air and Malaysia Airlines entered a code-sharing agreement today opening up routes and services to each other in their respective networks effective September 18th 2006.
The agreement, inked at a signing ceremony in Subang, allows Malaysia Airlines to market seats under its code on Gulf Air flights between Kuala Lumpur and the Middle East countries of Bahrain and Oman as part of its Òhub-and-spokeÓ strategy.
"We are delighted with this tie up as Gulf Air believes in choosing and cooperating via code-sharing with world class leading carriers such as Malaysia Airlines," said Gulf Air President and Chief Executive Mr James Hogan.
"Code-sharing enables travellers to enjoy a seamless product, as a single airline supervises the passenger's entire journey. Such an arrangement offers significant economic and consumer benefits giving passengers price and service options," he added.
Malaysia Airlines Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Idris Jala said, "We are very excited with this Gulf Air partnership. This is in line with our strategy of shifting from point-to-point network to hub-and-spoke connecting network. We are currently in discussions with other airlines to develop hub-and-spoke network in Australia, South Africa, China, Europe and USA. We will be announcing some of these deals this year".
"Malaysia is a popular destination for visitors from the Middle East. With a steady increase in tourist arrivals over the years from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, we expect a significant jump in the numbers from that region during Visit Malaysia Year 2007", Idris said.
"This agreement is yet another manifestation of the 'Winning Coalitions' thrust of our Business Turnaround Plan. We will leverage on such arrangements to build out our hub-and-spoke approach to reduce costs and concurrently improve both load factors and yields," he added.
The code share comes shortly after a meeting between Mr Idris Jala and Mr James Hogan in June 2006. It was complemented by a series of meetings between both parties. There were also discussions involving Gulf Air and high-level delegation from Malaysian Tourism Promotion Board (MTPB). During that meeting, both parties agreed to set up a task force to study possibilities of joint co-operation to promote the upcoming 50 years of Malaysia's nationhood in 2007.
Gulf Air has been flying to Kuala Lumpur for many years and its Holiday Division, Gulf Air Holidays, has been offering travellers fantastic, value-for-money holiday packages. During the summer, Gulf Air operates 6 flights a week to Kuala Lumpur. Later this year Gulf Air and Malaysia Airlines will expand the commercial relationship further, with Gulf Air adding its code on some routes of Malaysia Airlines domestic and international network. The pact also includes initiating cooperation in Frequent Flyer, Holiday and Cargo programmes.
Malaysia Airlines currently operates flights between Kuala Lumpur and the Middle East cities of Dubai, Jeddah, Cairo, Damascus and Istanbul. It holds a lengthy record of service and best practices excellence, having received more than 100 awards in the last 10 years, among the notable ones being the first airline to win the "World's Best Cabin Crew" by Skytrax UK consecutively from 2001 till 2004 and being rated '5-star airline' also by Skytrax, UK.
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