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Malaysia Airlines to Join oneworld Alliance

Malaysia Airlines is expected to start flying as part of oneworld late next year.

SINGAPORE, June 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Malaysia Airlines is to join oneworld®, adding one of aviation's most frequent award winners to the world's leading quality airline alliance.

Malaysia Airlines was unanimously elected a oneworld member designate by the Chief Executives of the alliance's member airlines, at a meeting on the sidelines of IATA's 2011 World Air Transport Summit, which opens in Singapore today.

A formal alliance membership agreement will be completed soon.

Malaysia Airlines is expected to start flying as part of oneworld late next year.

As it prepares for its alliance membership, Malaysia Airlines intends to develop bilateral links with a number of oneworld's established partners, who include some of the biggest and best names in the airline industry. It already codeshares with oneworld partners Cathay Pacific and Royal Jordanian.

When it becomes part of oneworld, its customers will gain access to the alliance's truly global network. It will expand oneworld's global coverage to almost 950 destinations in 150 countries, served by a combined fleet of more than 2,600 aircraft operating some 10,000 flights a day and carrying 358 million passengers a year.

Three established oneworld member airlines currently serve Malaysia, with Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and Royal Jordanian flying to Kuala Lumpur, and Cathay Pacific also to Penang and, through its Dragonair affiliate, Kota Kinabalu. Opportunities for expanding the alliance's coverage of the country will be explored as Malaysia Airlines prepares to join.

When it becomes part of oneworld, members of Malaysia Airlines Enrich frequent flyer program will be able to earn and redeem rewards on any of oneworld's 14 other top-class carriers, with top tier members able to use any of the group's 550 plus airport lounges, and its network will be covered by oneworld's range of alliance fares.  

At the same time, frequent flyer cardholders of oneworld's established airlines will be able to earn and redeem rewards when flying on Malaysia Airlines.

Qantas will serve as sponsor of Malaysia Airlines entry into oneworld.

Malaysia Airlines Chairman Tan Sri Dr Mohd Munir Abdul Majid said: "The Board of Malaysia Airlines had targeted entry into an alliance this year. I am glad we are at the stage where the initiation with oneworld is formalized."

Malaysia Airlines Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Tengku Azmil Aziz said: "With the world airline industry increasingly focused on alliances, we have carried out careful analysis of the options now available to Malaysia Airlines. The time is clearly right for our company to join one of the global airline groups, and oneworld is clearly the best option for us. As a company highly focused on quality service, we are immensely proud to have been invited to join the highest quality alliance with the best airline partners offering a global network that best complements our own. We look forward to completing all joining requirements as soon as possible."

American Airlines Chairman and Chief Executive Gerard Arpey, Chairman of the oneworld Governing Board, said: "Today's agreement with Malaysia Airlines represents another significant milestone in our effort to establish oneworld firmly as the world's premier airline alliance with members unmatched in brand and service quality. Not only will Malaysia Airlines bolster oneworld's presence in Asia, in North America it will also further strengthen our alliance's position at Los Angeles, where American Airlines has significantly expanded with new international and domestic flights as well as enhanced facilities. We look forward to welcoming Malaysia Airlines to oneworld."

oneworld CEO Bruce Ashby said: "oneworld already features four of the best airlines in Asia-Pacific, including member elect Kingfisher Airlines. Adding another leading Asian carrier, in Malaysia Airlines, will greatly enhance oneworld's offering throughout the world's fast growing region for air travel demand."

Qantas Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce 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. Qantas is delighted to be serving as its sponsor in joining oneworld."

About Malaysia Airlines

Malaysia Airlines started with the incorporation of Malayan Airways Limited (MAL) on 12 October 1937. It launched operations on 2 April 1947 with its first commercial flight as the national airline and turned into an international airline in less than a decade.

In 1963, the airline changed its name to Malaysian Airlines Limited, MAL. In 1965, with the separation of Singapore from Malaysia, MAL became a bi-national airline and was renamed Malaysia-Singapore Airlines (MSA). In 1973, the partners went separate ways. Malaysia introduced Malaysian Airline Limited, which was subsequently renamed Malaysian Airline System or in short, Malaysia Airlines.

Today, Malaysia Airlines and its subsidiaries employ 20,000 staff, flying around 45,000 passengers daily, serving almost 100 destinations globally in more than 30 countries across Asia, Australasia, Europe, Africa and North and South America, including oneworld hubs in Buenos Aires, Delhi, Hong Kong, London Heathrow, Los Angeles, Mumbai, Sydney and Tokyo Haneda and Narita.

It carried 15.7 million passengers in 2010, generating revenues of US$4.5 billion and posting net profits for the year of US$78 million and US$88 million at the operating level. (Exchange rate used US$1=MYR3)

Both Malaysia Airlines and its Kuala Lumpur hub are among the industry's most frequent winners of awards for quality service. Malaysia Airlines itself has won the World's Best Cabin Crew title from the Skytrax airline quality rating agency in six of the past 10 years. It is currently holder of Skytrax's World's Best Economy Class award. In the latest (2010) World Travel Awards, UK it was named Asia's Leading Airline, World's Leading Airline to Asia and Asia's Leading Business Class Airline.

On its medium and shorthaul services, it offers a two-class cabin. On its long haul routes, it offers three classes of service – First Class, Business Class and Economy.

Its current group fleet comprises 126 aircraft, including 10 Boeing 747-400s, 17 777-200s, 11 Airbus A330-300s, 11 Boeing 737-800s and 37 737-400s. Its orders include six Airbus A380s, for delivery from 2012.

Malaysia Airlines is listed on the Malaysia Bourse and is majority owned by the government.

About oneworld

oneworld brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business - American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN, Malev Hungarian Airlines, Mexicana, Qantas, Royal Jordanian and S7 Airlines, and around 20 affiliates including American Eagle, Dragonair, LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador and LAN Peru. airberlin and India's Kingfisher Airlines are both members elect, on track to join in early 2012.

oneworld enables its members to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. These include a broader route network, opportunities to earn and redeem frequent flyer miles and points across the combined oneworld network and more airport lounges. oneworld also offers more alliance fares than any of its competitors.

oneworld is current holder of three of the four leading international awards for airline alliances – named the Best Airline Alliance by Global Traveler in its GT Tested Reader Survey 2010 Awards, World's Best Alliance in the 2010 World Airline Awards and the World's Leading Airline Alliance in the 2010 World Travel Awards, retaining that title for the eighth year running.

SOURCE oneworld

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