VTL: Airlines provide easier connection between Singapore and Malaysia

The new cabins in Singapore Airlines’ Boeing 737-8 fleet features specially designed, ergonomic seats. — SIA

The Malaysia-Singapore Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) programme that’s set to begin on Nov 29 has got many people booking flights and planning trips between the two countries.

To make things more convenient for these VTL travellers, Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines will be reactivating their codeshare arrangement.

The codeshare not only covers Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, but includes many other domestic points in Malaysia and Europe, and two cities in South Africa. This expansion is timely as international borders are gradually reopening, and air travel demand starts to increase.

The new codeshare destinations in Malaysia are Alor Setar and Langkawi (Kedah), Kuching, Miri, Bintulu and Sibu (Sarawak), Johor Baru, Penang, Kuala Terengganu, Kuantan (Pahang), Labuan, and Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan and Tawau (Sabah).

Meanwhile, from Jan 1, Malaysia Airlines passengers will be able to connect on Singapore Airlines’ flights from Frankfurt and Munich in Germany, Moscow in Russia, Rome in Italy, Copenhagen in Denmark, Barcelona in Spain, and Zurich in Switzerland, as well as Cape Town and Johannesburg in South Africa.

This significant expansion of the codeshare arrangement is the first phase of a wide-ranging commercial agreement that the two national carriers signed in 2019, which allows the partners to coordinate flight schedules, offer joint fare products, align corporate programmes, and more.

Both carriers will also explore joint tourism marketing initiatives and multi-stop itineraries.

Apart from the codeshare, the companies have also announced other new launches and products.

New cabins, rewardsSingapore Airlines will be rolling out new cabin products on its Boeing 737-8 fleet in the coming weeks.

The new cabin products will feature bespoke elements designed especially for the airline. For example, the lie-flat Business Class seats have been designed by London-based Factorydesign, and manufactured by Thompson Aero Seating.

In the Economy Class cabin, passengers will find sleek and slim-line seats built by Collins Aerospace.

The company invested close to S$230mil (RM707mil) on the development, design and installation of the cabin products. The newly-fitted aircraft will progressively enter into service on short- to medium-haul flights across the airline’s network soon. This will include services to points in Malaysia.

As for Malaysia Airlines, the company is introducing a supposedly first-of-its-kind reward system for its corporate partners via its corporate travel programme, MHbiz Pro.

MHbiz Pro is designed to create added value for corporate customers from businesses of all sizes, ranging from large multi-national companies to small and medium enterprises.

Leveraging on the airline’s existing programme, Enrich, partners of MHbiz Pro will be entitled to redeem Corporate Enrich Points when their employees book and fly on the carrier. Corporate partners’ employees who are also Enrich members will still earn individual Enrich oints.

This new feature replaces the rewards/points system that was awarded annually.

Members of the Oneworld Alliance loyalty programme will benefit from this new system too.

For other benefits and for ongoing travel promotions, go to malaysiaairlines.com.

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