Award-winning national carrier Malaysia Airlines (MAS), which is set to become a full member of the oneworld(R) airline alliance, will start offering a full range of oneworld services and benefits from February 1 this year.
The membership will strengthen MAS' competitive position and help expand its international network as it becomes the 12th member of the global alliance.
MAS passengers will gain access to the alliance's global network which covers over 850 destinations in almost 160 countries.
Current oneworld members include airberlin, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN Airlines, Qantas, Royal Jordanian and S7 Airlines..
Three oneworld's active members are serving three points in Malaysia. They are Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and Royal Jordanian, which fly to Kuala Lumpur. Cathay Pacific also operates to Penang, while its subsidiary, Dragonair, offers services to Kota Kinabalu.
As a oneworld member, MAS will offer the alliance's full range of services and benefits. Frequent flyer membership cardholders of any oneworld airline will earn mileage rewards and tier-status points when traveling with MAS. They can also redeem their mileage accrued for travel on all MAS flights. Top-tier cardholders will have access to the national carrier's lounges as well when flying MAS.
As for the members of Malaysia Airlines Enrich frequent flyer programme, their status will be automatically paired with the equivalent oneworld frequent flyer ranks.
Enrich Platinum cardholders will have Emerald status in the oneworld programme, while Enrich Gold will be equivalent to oneworld Sapphire and Enrich Silver will be oneworld Ruby.
Enrich Platinum and Gold members, along with MAS business- and first-class passengers, will also gain access to 550 airport lounges worldwide offered by oneworld members.
However, frequent flyer services and benefits between MAS and LAN Airlines will only be available from April 1 due to an upgrade to the South American carrier's frequent flyer information technology system being implemented shortly after MAS joins oneworld.
Members of MAS' Enrich programme will be able to earn or redeem frequent-flyer reward points and receive other oneworld frequent-flyer services and benefits when flying on LAN Airlines, and, likewise, LAN's LANPASS programme members will be able to earn or redeem frequent-flyer reward points and receive other oneworld benefits when flying on MAS from then on.
In addition, MAS is already participating in Global Explorer, the round-the-world fare offered by all oneworld members and various airlines that are not part of the alliance.
From February 1 this year, MAS' network, which serves over 60 destinations in nearly 30 countries, will be covered by oneworld's full and extensive range of alliance fares and sales products.
MAS will substantially expand the alliance's network in Southeast Asia, where it will add 14 new destinations and Brunei to the oneworld map.
More significantly, it will strengthen the alliance's connectivity between many key business cities in Asia and other parts of the world.
The new addition will strengthen oneworld's network of some 850 destinations in 160 countries, with some 9,000 departures a day operated by a combined fleet of some 2,500 aircraft, carrying nearly 340 million passengers a year and with annual revenues of US$110 billion.
By adding oneworld's other members-elect - Qatar Airways and Sri Lankan Airlines, the alliance network will reach 856 destinations in 159 countries.
MAS was awarded the "five-star airline" status last year by Skytrax, UK. It also won Skytrax's award for the "World's Best Cabin Crew" for the seventh time in eleven years and the "Best Airline Signature Dish" award for the satays it serves on board.