Malaysia Airlines and Emirates today teamed up to create an unprecedented codeshare agreement to build upon their current interline agreement to connect Malaysia Airlines’ passengers to destinations across the world via Dubai and Emirates’ passengers across Malaysia, Southeast Asia, and select Asia Pacific destinations. The new agreement does not expand to a JV or as far as the Emirates – Qantas tie up, but it does further snub fellow OneWorld Member Qatar from potential partnerships within the Asia Pacific region.
Under the agreement signed by Emirates’ President Sir Tim Clark and Malaysia Airlines’ Chief Executive Officer Christoph Mueller, Malaysia Airlines will add its code on flights of Emirates to Europe, Middle East, Africa and the Americas. In return, Emirates will add its code on flights of Malaysia Airlines to domestic routes in Malaysia, South East Asia and selective cities across the Asia Pacific region. The codeshare will be implemented progressively throughout 2016 subject to regulatory approvals.
With the Emirates partnership, Malaysia Airlines’ customers will have access to 38 European, 15 Americas and 38 destinations in the Middle East and Africa and Indian Ocean, whilst Emirates’ customers will have access to Malaysia Airlines’ extensive Asia Pacific network with up to 300 daily departures in the region. Sales under this codeshare agreement will commence from February 1 2016.
Emirates European Network (Above) vs Malaysia Airlines Euroean Network (Below)
At this time the proposal does not expend many frequent flyer benefits or extra benefits to travelers flying on each airline, but it does allow customers reciprocal lounge access and priority check in.
“Our new codeshare agreement with Malaysia Airlines will enable our passengers to experience new destinations and improved connectivity in the ever-popular Southeast Asia region, and also additional comforts such as reciprocal lounge access and priority check-in,” said Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates.
“Malaysia Airlines’ extensive network in the emerging Southeast Asia region perfectly complements Emirates’ global network and enhances the choice of travel destinations for customers in both the business and leisure segment.”
In addition, both airline will expand their offline networks through codeshare on each other’s metal. This is particularly important for Malaysia Airlines as they have cut their network to Europe, and have reduced their A380s to a single route to London. With this new agreement, I would not be surprised to see Malaysia wet lease their A380s to Emirates or increase capacity to Dubai by upguaging their A330 daily service to an A380 to increase passenger flow via Dubai.
Today’s announcement could terminate all long haul flying to the Malaysia Airlines brand, as Emirates may take over both the connections to Europe and even long haul flights to North and South America for Malaysia Airlines customers. As Malaysia Airline has been trying to restructure, shedding debt, and cutting unprofitable routes across their network, Emirates may just be the airlines saving grace—after all they nearly saved Qantas from European extinction.
Sorry Qatar, but you lose again.