Malaysia Airlines will join the oneworld alliance, according to an official announcement made at the IATA conference in Singapore.
It was unanimously elected a member designate, with a formal alliance membership agreement to be completed soon. It is expected to start flying as part of oneworld late 2012. It already code-shares with oneworld partners Cathay Pacific and Royal Jordanian.
Malaysia’s entry into the alliance means that oneworld's global coverage hits close to 950 destinations in 150 countries. In total, it will carry close to 358 million passengers a year.
Qantas has sponsored Malaysia’s entry into oneworld. Some Australian broadsheets are reporting that Qantas’ involvement ends any chance of Virgin Blue linking up with Malaysian as a way into the Far Eastern market.
Malaysia Airlines Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Tengku Azmil Aziz said that oneworld is the “global network which best complements our own” in terms of the focus on quality service.
Qantas Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce said; “Its Kuala Lumpur home will provide our customers with another of the world's best airports, geographically well placed between our existing hubs. Qantas is delighted to be serving as its sponsor in joining oneworld."