KUALA LUMPUR: An academician has hailed Malaysia Airlines’ codeshare agreement with Emirates, which begins next month, as a good strategic move to provide a wider network of destinations without using its own aircraft or manpower.

Dr Ahmad Rizal Mazlan, the Kuala Lumpur director of Universiti Utara Malaysia, said the arrangement would allow both airlines to leverage on each other’s strength to expand their network and increase traffic on respective routes.

MAS has announced plans to shrink its international routes as part of its rationalisation plans. On Feb 1, the airline will stop flying to Paris and Amsterdam, after having cut Frankfurt, Istanbul and Brisbane among other international routes.

The Kuala Lumpur-Dubai route will be suspended from Feb 15, leaving London as its only European destination. MAS will continue to operate its flagship twice-daily flights to London.

Ahmad Rizal said the deal with Emirates would give MAS access to 38 European destinations, and even twice daily to cities, including Rome, Frankfurt, Munich and Barcelona.

It will also expand its reach in the Americas and the Middle East, Africa and Indian Ocean.

“In fact, Malaysia Airlines’ customers will now have more travel options via the 38 destinations offered with Emirates to Europe,” he said.

As part of its rationalisation programme, MAS is to focus on Asia and use airline partnerships to serve long-haul markets outside the region. The airline, now owned by the government through Malaysian Airlines Bhd, hopes to return to profitability by 2018.

Ahmad Rizal said the Emirates deal would allow MAS to offer Kuala Lumpur as a hub to connect to South East Asia, and Dubai for connections to Europe, the Middle East, North and South Africa.

Source from Free Malaysia Today News

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