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June 10, 2011 / oneworld82

Malaysia Airlines to join oneworld

oneworld may be the smallest of the three big alliances, but it surely is the one that cares the most about the quality of its members.
If SkyTrax ratings mean anything, oneworld now can count on a third member (current or future) rated 5* by the agency – i.e. a hefty 50% of the World’s carriers considered to be 5 stars are now part of oneworld.
In fact, only 6 carriers are 5* certidied as of today: Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines (Star Alliance), Asiana (SkyTeam), Kingfisher Airlines (future oneworld), Cathay Pacific (oneworld) and Malaysia Airlines (oneworld).

But what does this addition mean to the alliance? Well, first of all, it keeps the profile very high. It really shows to its customers that oneworld is all (and foremost) about quality. Having won several accolades for its on-board service and food, Malaysia Airlines was one of the few, mouthwatering carriers still left that could make sense for oneworld to grab. The other ones are Emirates, Qatar Airways, and Etihad Airways, carriers which – because of their strategy and their unique geo-political profile – are very unlikely to join any alliance for the time being.

As known, Malaysia Airlines’ sponsor is Qantas, a (rather) struggling airlines that is trying to boost its international profile after several blows dealt by its arch-rival Virgin Blue at home. Malaysia Airlines would serve the purpose well, given that the Kuala Lumpur-based airline has a strong presence in the fast-growing Asian market and given that the Malacca Peninsula allows for easy access to the very important Indian market. Being able to put the “QF” code on MH flights would mean that Australian (and other) flyers would be able to fly SYD-KUL-FCO, for instance, on a Qantas ticket and with QF codes (with all the fidelity benefits associated with that) while enjoying the superior products that the MH metal brings.

For Malaysia Airlines, joining oneworld means better access to worldwide markets and a new brand-association with some of the top players in the industry. A direct flight to LAX or DFW, for instance, would allow MH to gather access to American Airlines endless domestic network, while a direct flight to LHR would mean connections to many destinations in Europe and beyond.

A win-win situation that will likely make this wedding a very profitable one.

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