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Malaysia Airlines Joins Oneworld

Malaysia Airlines Joins Oneworld

Malaysia Airlines has today become part of Oneworld, adding one of Asia’s leading airlines to the global airline alliance that aims to be the first choice for frequent international travellers the world over.

The national airline of Malaysia is now offering Oneworld’s full range of services and benefits. The first of its aircraft featuring the full Oneworld livery – an Airbus A330-300 operating flight MH 129 took off to Melbourne from Kuala Lumpur at 10.15am this morning.

For Malaysia Airlines, joining Oneworld completes yet another successful phase of its Business Plan. Becoming part of the world’s premier global airline alliance will strengthen its competitiveness, enabling it to offer customers an unrivalled alliance global network served by partners including some of the best and biggest airlines in the world.

Malaysia Airlines, which serves more than 60 destinations in almost 30 countries, will substantially expand the alliance’s network in one of the world’s fastest growing economic powerhouses, South East Asia.

Malaysia will also become a home market for the alliance. The country has one of the world’s 30 biggest national economies and a population of almost 30 million. Its capital Kuala Lumpur, the world’s 10th most visited city by international visitors according to the latest annual Mastercard survey, is now a Oneworld hub.

Malaysia Airlines connects 16 new 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.

Malaysia Airlines expands Oneworld’s global coverage to 842 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 will reach 860 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 Kinabal.

Malaysia Airlines’ addition to Oneworld will make travel to Malaysia from all over the world much easier, by seamlessly connecting its network to those of its new Oneworld partner airlines.

Visit Malaysia Pass

To encourage travellers to experience the world-renowned Malaysian hospitality throughout the country, the airline and alliance today launch their Visit Malaysia pass, offering attractive discounts on regular published fares for domestic flights bought in conjunction with a flight on a Oneworld carrier to the country.

The two million members of Malaysia Airlines’ Enrich loyalty programme will now enjoy the full range of Oneworld frequent flyer benefits when travelling with any Oneworld member airline worldwide – airberlin, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN Airlines, Qantas, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines and around 30 affiliated airlines.

Enrich members will be able to earn and redeem miles on any Oneworld flight. In celebration of the airline’s addition to the alliance, they will receive double Enrich award miles when flying on Malaysia Airlines’ Oneworld partners between 15th February 2013 and 15th April 2013 on tickets bought from today to 15th April 2013.

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.

Enrich Platinum and Gold members will now 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.

The 125 million members of the established Oneworld airlines’ frequent flyer programmes will now also be able to earn and redeem awards and tier status points and receive all other Oneworld benefits when flying Malaysia Airlines.

To celebrate the addition of the new recruit to Oneworld, members of established member airlines’ loyalty programmes will receive double the normal mileage awards when flying on Malaysia Airlines between 15th February 2013 and 15th April 2013 on tickets bought from today to 15th April 2013, to mark its addition to the alliance.

New Benefits for Top Tier Frequent Flyers

As part of its strategy of positioning itself as the first choice airline alliance for frequent international travellers, Oneworld is marking the addition of Malaysia Airlines by adding two key new benefits for top tier frequent flyer cardholders in any Oneworld member airline frequent flyer programme.

Frequent flyer cardholders with Oneworld Emerald status will be entitled to

  • An extra checked baggage allowance, above the standard limit for the cabin class in which they are travelling – either one additional item where the piece concept applies, or an extra 20kg (44lb) where the weight concept applies – when they fly on any Oneworld member airline
  • Use fast track lanes through security when flying from select key airports worldwide on select Oneworld member airlines.

Malaysia Airlines has unveiled the first aircraft in its fleet to be decorated in a special Oneworld livery – one of its 10 latest Airbus A330-300s – spearheading a massive marketing drive to promote the airline’s addition to the alliance.

The distinct design features ‘Oneworld’ in 6ft (2 metre) high blue letters along a white fuselage and the airline’s standard tailfin, serving as a huge flying billboard highlighting that Malaysia Airlines is now offering the full range of Oneworld services and benefits.

Malaysia Airlines Group Chief Executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya was joined by visiting chief executives from other Oneworld member airlines to roll out the aircraft with its new look from the company’s hangar at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Oneworld logos will be applied by the side passenger entrance doors on Malaysia Airlines’ entire fleet of 88 aircraft as part of a massive rebranding programme that will also see the alliance logo added virtually wherever the Malaysia Airlines’ name is displayed – at airport check-in desks and signage, on its website, tickets, boarding passes and all items of stationery.

Malaysia Airlines’ addition to Oneworld will be promoted with of one of the biggest marketing campaigns in the airline’s history, too, with an extensive advertising campaign to highlight the new alliance services and benefits available to its customers.

All cardholders in its Enrich frequent flyer programme have been sent new membership cards, bearing the Oneworld logo and “gemstone” tier indicator, to ensure they receive their alliance benefits when travelling throughout the entire Oneworld global network.

Malaysia Airlines’ addition to Oneworld completes what has been one of the biggest projects in the airline’s history, with working groups covering some 20 streams of activity, bringing its various internal processes and procedures into line with the alliance’s requirements, and running extensive employee training and communications programmes.

Since accepting its invitation to join the alliance in June 2011, Malaysia Airlines has expanded its code-sharing relationships to four established Oneworld partners – Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Japan Airlines and Royal Jordanian.

Qantas has been supporting Malaysia Airlines through its alliance implementation project, as its Oneworld sponsor airline, with backing from the central Oneworld team.

Behind the scenes, the project has been smoothed by Oneworld’s new information technology (IT) hub, using latest “cloud” and web-based technology, which makes it easier, more efficient and faster to link new airlines into the alliance. Malaysia Airlines is the second alliance recruit to benefit.

CEOs and senior executives from all oneworld airlines attend joining ceremony

Chief Executives and senior executives from all oneworld member airlines gathered at Malaysia Airlines’ Kuala Lumpur home base yesterday to welcome on board the alliance’s latest recruit.

After hosting a press conference, they joined some 500 other VIP guests from across Malaysia’s travel and tourism sector, and the Malaysia Airlines’ team that had worked on the Oneworld project, at a gala dinner where the guest of honour was the Malaysian Minister of Transport Dato Seri Kong Cho Ha, who represented Malaysia’s Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib bin Abdul Razak.

Among those joining Group Chief Executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya at the ceremony were senior executives from all Oneworld member airlines and members elect including Qantas Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce; Oneworld Chief Executive Bruce Ashby; Cathay Pacific Airways Chief Executive John Slosar; Finnair President and Chief Executive Mika Vehvilainen; Japan Airlines Chairman Masaru Onishi; Member elect SriLankan Airlines Chairman Nishantha Wickramasinghe and Chief Executive Kapila Chandrasena.

What the CEOs Said

Group Chief Executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said: “Becoming a member of Oneworld is one of the most significant landmarks in Malaysia Airlines’ history. It will strengthen our competitive position considerably, enabling us to offer our customers a truly global network together with our partners who include some of the best and biggest airlines in the world. At the same time, it will enable us to benefit from all the financial benefits that come from being part of a global alliance, through additional passenger feed and the learning from best practices that it affords. As an airline that has always be proud to offer the highest quality Malaysian Hospitality, we are very pleased and honoured to be lining up as part of what is clearly the world’s top quality airline grouping.”

Qantas Chief Executive Alan Joyce added: “Qantas has been delighted to support Malaysia Airlines throughout its Oneworld joining process, and we are very pleased now to be able to welcome another great airline on board the world’s premier global airline alliance.”

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Michael Flood is the Editor of Ireland's leading travel industry publication, Irish Travel Trade News. With more than 35 years experience, he has accumulated an in-depth knowledge of the airline industry and the travel and tourism world.

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