Malaysia Airlines has forged an extensive codeshare partnership with Emirates as it further restructures its long haul network. The flag carrier is suspending services to Amsterdam and Paris, leaving it with only two destinations outside the Asia Pacific region (London Heathrow and Dubai), and will rely on Emirates to provide offline access to continental Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas.
Malaysia Airlines is increasing its focus on regional operations. It will reschedule domestic, and some short haul international, flights to connect better with Emirates, its own restructured network and other partners. Under the revised regional operation the carrier plans to open seven bases in secondary cities throughout Malaysia, enabling it to reduce costs, improve utilisation of its 737 fleet and launch new point to point routes.
The new, still unfolding, strategy at Malaysia Airlines repositions the flag carrier to focus on the Asia Pacific region, where there is rapid growth, and there are opportunities to feed partners. Malaysia Airlines is right to recognise that it is unable to compete effectively against Gulf carriers on long haul routes to Europe, making a partnership with a former rival the only sensible option.
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