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Malaysia Airlines joins oneworld

31 January 2013:  Malaysia Airlines becomes part of oneworld® at midnight Kuala Lumpur time tonight, 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. 

From its first flight tomorrow morning – MH386 which leaves Kuala Lumpur at 1.40 am for Shanghai Pudong – the national airline of Malaysia will be offering oneworld’s full range of services and benefits.  Another key focus flight for the airline tomorrow will be the first departure by the first of its aircraft featuring the full oneworld livery – an Airbus A330-300 operating flight MH 129 to Melbourne from Kuala Lumpur at 10.15 am.

For Malaysia Airlines, joining oneworld completes the latest phase of its repositioning 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.

Customers benefit from expanded global network and increased competition
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.

Its addition to oneworld makes Malaysia - which has one of the world’s 30 biggest national economies and with a population of almost 30 million - a home market for the alliance.  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 new 16 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.

Its addition 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 Kinabalu. 

New Visit Malaysia pass to encourage tourism throughout the country
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.

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.  For details, see separate news release.

This new fare will be available for sale from midnight tonight – when Malaysia Airlines’ global network will be covered by oneworld’s extensive full range of alliance fares and sales products. 

‘Double miles’ offer to frequent flyer members to celebrate
The 2 million members of Malaysia Airlines’ Enrich loyalty programme will from midnight tonight 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 (see notes below), 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 15 February 2013 and 15 April 2013 on tickets bought from today to 15 April 2013 (see notes below).

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.

From midnight tonight, Enrich Platinum and Gold members will 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 (see notes below).

Also from midnight tonight, the 125 million members of the established oneworld airlines’ frequent flyer programmes will be able to earn and redeem awards and tier status points and receive all other oneworld benefits when flying Malaysia Airlines.  (See notes below)

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 15 February 2013 and 15 April 2013 on tickets bought from today to 15 April 2013`, to mark its addition to the alliance.

  • For further details of the frequent flyer promotion, see separate news release.

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

From midnight tonight, 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 traveling – either one additional item where the piece concept applies, or an extra 20 kg (44 lbs) 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.
  • For further details of these new frequent flyer benefits, see separate news release.

Malaysia Airlines A330-300 in alliance livery headlines drive to highlight
oneworld membership
Malaysia Airlines today 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 6 ft (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 CEOs from other oneworld member airlines to roll out the aircraft with its new look from the company’s hangar at Kuala Lumpur International Airport this morning.  Its first flight in its new design will be tomorrow (Friday 1 February) to Melbourne, as flight MH 129, departing from Kuala Lumpur at 10.15 am.

Before then, overnight tonight 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 tomorrow 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 from tomorrow 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 oneworldairlines attend joining ceremony 
Chief Executives and senior executives from all oneworld member airlines gathered at Malaysia Airlines’ Kuala Lumpur home base today 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 at which the guest of honour was Malaysia’s Minister of Transport Dato' Seri Kong Cho Ha. 

Among those joining Group Chief Executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya at today’s ceremony were senior executives from all oneworld member airlines and members elect including:

  • Qantas Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce.
  • oneworld CEO 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.
  • Malaysia Airlines will be screening live coverage of its various joining ceremonies and celebrations from Kuala Lumpur throughout the day via

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.”

oneworld Chief Executive Bruce Ashby stated:  “oneworld aims to be the first choice alliance for the world’s frequent international travellers – with an unrivalled collection of quality carriers, delivering unmatched benefits to customers and to member airlines alike.  That remains our focus today, as the alliance adds another great airline.  Malaysia Airlines strengthens the alliance’s offering in the growing economic powerhouse of South East Asia, just as we expect oneworld to strengthen Malaysia Airlines’ competitive and financial positions.”

Logos, photographs and video
Logos and photographs for oneworld, Malaysia and the alliance’s other member airlines can be downloaded in high resolution print quality format from from

Video webstreams from today’s joining ceremonies can be viewed at  with an edited highlights package from the day available at that web address soon.

About Malaysia Airlines
Malaysia Airlines serves more than 60 destinations in almost 30 countries across Asia, Australasia, Middle East, Europe, and North America, including oneworld hubs Hong Kong, London Heathrow, Los Angeles, Sydney and Tokyo Narita.  

Its present fleet of 88 aircraft – including its flagship Airbus A380s – operates more than 250 departures a day.  It boarded 13 million passengers in 2011, generating revenues of MYR 13.6 billion (US$ 4.5 billion).

Malaysia Airlines describes its distinctive brand as an extension of the special culture of warmth and friendliness unique to Malaysians. This inimitable Malaysian sense of graciousness is branded as “Malaysian Hospitality” and symbolized by the acronym MH, which is also the airline’s flight code.

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 Staff title from the UK based Skytrax airline quality rating agency in seven of the past 11 years. 

Last year, Malaysia Airlines marked the entry of its first A380 into its fleet by having its Five-Star Airline status renewed by Skytrax – as the airline embarked on a series of improvements to reposition it as a premium carrier.

About oneworld
oneworld is an alliance of the world’s leading airlines committed to providing the highest level of service and convenience to frequent international travellers.  oneworld airlines include airberlin, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Royal Jordanian and S7 Airlines, and around 30 affiliates.  SriLankan Airlines and Qatar Airways are on track to join soon. 

Between them, these airlines:

  • Serve some 860 airports in almost 160 countries, with more than 9,300 daily departures.
  • Carry almost a million passengers a day on a combined fleet of more than 2,500 aircraft.
  • Generate nearly US$ 120 billion annual revenues in total.

world member airlines work together to deliver consistently a superior, seamless travel experience, with special privileges and rewards for frequent flyers, including earning and redeeming miles and points across the entire alliance network. Top tier cardholders (Emerald and Sapphire) enjoy access to some 550 airport lounges. The most regular travellers (Emerald) can also use fast track security lanes at select airports and extra baggage allowances.

oneworld is currently the holder of three leading international awards for airline alliances - named the Best Airline Alliance by Global Traveler in its GT Tested Reader Survey 2012 Awards for the third year running, the World’s Leading Airline Alliance in the 2012 World Travel Awards for the 10th year running, and Australian Business Traveller Best Airline Alliance in 2012 for the second year running.