MALAYSIA Airlines (MAS), which has not joined any mega alliance, yesterday struck its first regional partnership that contains the ingredients of just such an alliance.
The signing of a master agreement with Garuda Indonesia also formalised MAS' first third-country code share arrangement - i.e. one that involves flights to a destination other than the two countries where the airlines operate from.
In the arrangement that took effect last month, Garuda can market 30 seats per flight on MAS aircraft on the Kuala Lumpur-London and Kuala Lumpur-Frankfurt routes, and reserve 25 seats per flight from Bali to Darwin, Australia.
MAS managing director Datuk Md Nor Yusof said the two airlines had common objectives that were normally satisfied through joining a mega alliance.
“However, joining an existing mega alliance entails conditions to conform with, which would have consumed a lot of energy. In the case of the alliance which MAS and Garuda is developing, we can focus directly on our objectives without pre-qualifications,” he told Malaysian and Indonesian journalists after sealing the agreement in Jakarta.
At the signing, MAS was represented by Md Nor and Garuda by its president and chief executive officer Indra Setiawan.
MAS senior general manager (sales, distribution & marketing) Datuk Ahmad Fuaad Dahlan said the airline would not focus on joining a mega alliance this year.
“We may join an alliance one fine day, but at this point, we want to concentrate on improving ourselves and to look at relationships where there are mutual benefits. If you join a large alliance, definitely the larger carriers will benefit more.”
The agreement, valid for at least 3 years, is a strategic and commercial cooperation that covers passenger and cargo services, joint sales and marketing, network strategy and coordination, ground handling and engineering maintenance.
It is aimed at building a long-term market presence in Europe, Australia and other regions while strengthening the international hub positions of Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta.
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