Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Malaysia Airlines have signed a tentative agreement that could see them offering passengers more codeshare flights and frequent flyer programme enhancements.
The memorandum of understanding (MoU) will be followed by a formal agreement in “the coming months”, according to SIA. The resulting “partnership” will include SIA subsidiaries Silkair and Scoot, as well as Malaysia Airlines subsidiary Firefly.
“Enhanced ties could include a significant expansion of codeshare flights beyond Singapore-Malaysia routes, as well as enhancements on the frequent flyer programme front. Other potential co-operation could involve cargo as well as maintenance, repair and overhaul services,” SIA said in its press release.
SIA chief executive officer Goh Choon Phong said in a statement: “SIA and MAB [Malaysia Airlines Berhad] operate in a region with a rapidly growing air travel market, presenting significant growth opportunities for both carriers. Both airlines have extensive operations within Asean, as well as large networks that cover many other parts of the world.
“We are proud to announce this MoU to expand the scope of our cooperation, increase global connectivity for Malaysia and Singapore, and enhance our service offerings for our customers.”
SIA and Malaysia Airlines currently codeshare on flights between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, Kota Kinabalu and Penang, an SIA spokesperson confirms. The spokesperson declined to provide further details on the MoU, saying “[m]ore details will be shared at a later date”.
Malaysia Airlines did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Traveller Asia-Pacific.
Codeshares allow passengers to book an itinerary with different operating airlines under a single booking, travel with a single boarding pass collected at the departure airport and have their checked luggage delivered all the way to their final destinations.
“Malaysia Airlines has always historically had strong commercial and cultural links with Singapore Airlines. My team and I are extremely pleased to be able to build on that close relationship even further, this time across many areas of both airlines’ ecosystems,” said Malaysia Airlines’ group chief executive officer Izham Ismail in a statement.
The announcement of the deal comes amid news that the Malaysian government is considering whether to shut down or sell the country’s national carrier.
In May, Malaysia Airlines and Japan Airlines signed an MoU to form a new joint-venture agreement that would take effect in 2020 as the two carriers look to build upon their services offered between Malaysia and Japan in time for next year’s Tokyo Olympics.