Malaysia Airlines continues to cut back

13 Jan 2016 by Alex McWhirter
Malaysia Airlines (MAB) will axe its daily Kuala Lumpur to Dubai service next month. It means that all flights on this busy route will now be operated by Emirates with whom MAB has entered into a partnership arrangement (see Online News December 2). MAB will operate its last flight to Dubai on February 15, according to Airline Route. After that date MAB’s sole destination in the Middle East will be Jeddah to which it already operates a number of Hajj flights some of which are operated by one of its A380s. Currently there are five daily flights on the Dubai route from Kuala Lumpur. Four of them are operated by Emirates and one by MAB. It is unclear whether or not Emirates will be adding an extra flight when it takes the place of MAB. At the time of writing no information about this was available and Emirates’ website still displays the same four daily flights. Malaysia Airlines Also being axed in the coming weeks is the code-share arrangement which MAB operates together with KLM on the Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur route. Although MAB has yet to make an official announcement a glance at KLM’s website shows that the code-share arrangement will be terminated ex-Amsterdam on January 24. This should not come as a surprise. Had the KLM code-share continued, how would MAB have marketed the seats? It was a non-stop service competing against the slower indirect flights of new partner Emirates. And as Business Traveller has reported both Emirates and KLM are hardly the best of friends. Indeed a recent speech in Holland by KLM CEO Peter Elbers (see January 9) made further reference to the unfair competition which his airline faces from the Gulf. In future the plan is for MAB to serve Europe, with the exception of London Heathrow, via Dubai. And now that MAB has announced the cancellation of its Kuala Lumpur-Dubai service, it means that, London excepted, Europe-bound travellers will from mid-February, be routed on Emirates throughout. Alex McWhirter
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