Malaysia Airlines will become a full member of oneworld® with effect from Friday 1 February 2013, adding one of commercial aviation’s most frequent award winners to the world’s leading quality airline alliance.
The national airline of Malaysia received clearance to board oneworld after successfully completing a thorough review of its readiness conducted by Qantas, which is sponsoring its entry into the alliance, with the oneworld central team.
While its alliance implementation programme is on track for completion in the coming weeks, its addition to oneworld is being held until the beginning of 2013 to avoid the end-of-year holiday season and for other administrative reasons.
Malaysia Airlines will start offering oneworld’s full range of services and benefits from 1 February 2013 – becoming the alliance’s second airline operating the Airbus A380, after its oneworld sponsor Qantas.
From then, the 2 million members of Malaysia Airlines’ Enrich loyalty programme will, in effect, have their frequent flyer privileges extended to whenever they fly with any oneworld member airline – airberlin, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN Airlines, Qantas, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines and some 25 affiliated airlines. This includes earning and redeeming mileage awards and earning tier status points when flying with all these airlines. (See notes)
Enrich Platinum cardholders will have Emerald status in the oneworld programme. Enrich Gold will be equivalent to oneworld Sapphire and Enrich Silver will be oneworld Ruby.
From 1 February, Enrich Platinum and Gold members will be able to use any of the 550 airport lounges worldwide offered by oneworld member airlines whenever they fly with any of the alliance’s carriers. Malaysia Airlines’ First and Business Class passengers will also be able to use oneworld partner airline lounges. (See notes)
Also from 1 February, the 125 million members of the established oneworld airlines’ frequent flyer programmes will be able to earn and redeem awards and tier status points and receive all other oneworld benefits on Malaysia Airlines. (See notes)
Malaysia Airlines is already participating in Global Explorer, the round-the-world fare offered by all oneworld members and various airlines that are not part of the alliance. From 1 February, Malaysia Airlines’ network – serving more than 60 destinations in nearly 30 countries – will be covered by oneworld’s full and extensive range of alliance fares and sales products.
Malaysia Airlines will substantially expand the alliance’s network in South East Asia, where it will add 14 destinations and one country – Brunei – to the oneworld map. More significantly, it will strengthen the alliance’s connectivity between many key business cities in Asia and other parts of the world.
Its addition will expand oneworld’s global coverage to some 840 destinations in 156 countries, served by some 9,000 departures a day operated by a combined fleet of some 2,500 aircraft, carrying nearly 340 million passengers a year, with annual revenues of US$ 110 billion. Add oneworld’s other members elect – Qatar Airways and Sri Lankan Airlines – and the alliance network reaches to 856 destinations in 159 countries.
Currently three of oneworld’s active member airlines serve three points in Malaysia, with Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and Royal Jordanian flying to Kuala Lumpur, Cathay Pacific operating to Penang and its Dragonair regional affiliate to Kota Kinabalu.
Malaysia Airlines’ oneworld implementation programme has represented one of the most extensive projects in the airline’s history, with working groups covering some 20 streams of activity. Projects are nearing completion to bring its various internal processes and procedures into line with the alliance’s requirements, and extensive employee training and communications programmes are now underway at Malaysia Airlines and the alliance’s existing members, to ensure they are ready to provide oneworld’s customer services and benefits across the expanded alliance from 1 February.
oneworld CEO Bruce Ashby said: “Malaysia Airlines is an ideal candidate for oneworld, with its world-class reputation for customer service mirroring oneworld’s own focus. Its Kuala Lumpur home will provide our customers with another of the world’s best airports, geographically well placed between our existing hubs. This will greatly enhance oneworld’s offering throughout one of the world’s fastest growing region for air travel demand.”
Malaysia Airlines Group Chief Executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya added: “oneworld membership represents one of the most significant achievements to date for Malaysia Airlines. It will strengthen our competitive position considerably, enabling our customers to enjoy a truly global network together with our partners who include some of the best and biggest airlines in the world, while enabling us also to tap into all the financial benefits that come from being part of a global alliance, through additional passenger feed and cost reduction opportunities. We are very pleased and proud to join what is clearly the world’s top quality airline grouping on 1 February”.
Photo: Malaysia Airlines