Two Asia-Pacific airlines, Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines (SIA1) (SINGY) , have shaken hands on a partnership agreement, pending regulatory approval. The agreement follows up on the Memorandum of Understanding, signed in June 2019. The two airlines have included their subsidiaries, namely Firefly, Silk Air and Scoot in the new partnership, which outlines sharing revenues on flights between the two countries, and will expand their codesharing network on regional and long-haul routes.
Previously, the two airlines only shared their flight codes on flights between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching and Penang.
Malaysia Airlines looking for partners
The sole owner of the flag carrier, the Malaysian government, has been looking at the options for the airline for a long time now. Back in March 2019, the government debated what to do with Malaysia Airlines, including the option of completely shutting down the airline. Rumors have pointed to several potential companies to privatize the bleeding airline, including Air Asia, Japan Airlines and Qatar Airways.
Nevertheless, the ailing flag carrier has found its first partner to help it deal with the financial issues. Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines (SIA1) (SINGY) will fly between the two countries under a joint business agreement, as they intend to coordinate flight schedules, offer joint fare products, align corporate programs and will explore an option to tie-up frequent-flyer programs.
Together with the joint agreement, the previously modest codesharing network will be expanded to 16 destinations from Singapore to Malaysia. Likewise, Malaysia Airlines will share flight codes on long-haul destinations, including Europe and South Africa, the press release states. The capacity increase on these routes will also be supplemented by a joint marketing program from both airlines, aimed to boost the demand for travel to Malaysia.
However, interestingly enough, the two airlines are in separate alliances – Singapore Airlines (SIA1) (SINGY) represents Star Alliance, while Malaysia Airlines is a member of oneworld. Just recently, on September 26, 2019, LATAM departed oneworld as Delta Air Lines acquired a 10% in the aforementioned Chile-based carrier. While Qatar Airways has said multiple times that it is lingering around with the idea of leaving oneworld, as it is in a years-long conflict with its U.S. based airlines.