Malaysia Airlines in Oneworld
By GEOFFREY THOMAS in Sydney Morning Herald, 03 June, 2000
Malaysia Airlines is on the verge of joining the
Qantas-British Airways Oneworld alliance
Officials in Kuala Lumpur and Sydney say the
catalyst for the decision is the involvement in
Oneworld of Qantas Airways and the success of
the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA),
now entering its third year of operation.
Over the past two years, Malaysia Airlines has
forged strong code-share links with KLM-Royal
Dutch Airlines and, more recently, Northwest
Airlines, leaders of the Wings Alliance.
But Oneworld members Qantas and British
Airways, which fear the impact of Star Alliance's
Singapore Airlines' new equity links with Air
New Zealand and Ansett, have been wooing
Likewise, Malaysia Airlines has seen arch rival
Singapore Airlines take a 49 per cent stake in one
of its other partners, Virgin Airlines, thus cutting
the feed traffic from the UK that Virgin provided.
According to Malaysia Airlines executive
president Mr Dato Bashir Ahmed, it was time for
Malaysia Airlines to align with a major alliance.
"We will announce our choice at the end of June,"
he said. "Qantas and Oneworld have put an
attractive deal to us."
The booming Australian market has become a
major source of high-yield traffic for Malaysia
Airlines, which uses the 777 and 747 on
Building an even greater market share with
Qantas' help is a priority for the Malaysian
carrier, which has recorded growth of up to 35
per cent on its Australian routes in the past three