Malaysia Airlines announced yesterday that they have signed an extensive codes-hare agreement with Emirates to channel Europe and US bound passengers via Dubai.
Emirates in turn will code-share some Malaysia Airlines flights around Asia and Australia. Malaysia Airlines discontinues Kuala Lumpur to Paris and Amsterdam flights leaving London the only city it serves in Europe.
You can access Bloomberg’s piece about this development here.
The deal gives the Malaysian carrier access to Europe without incurring “monumental losses,” Chief Executive Officer Christoph Mueller said in a phone interview Wednesday. Mueller, who took over in March, has already trimmed capacity by 30 percent and cut thousands of jobs as he seeks to revive a company racking up losses even before two high-profile crashes in 2014.
“Our network architecture is largely complete with this move,” he said. “It’s a very, very big and important piece in our puzzle.”
The tie-up with Emirates also fills a hole in European coverage left by the dropping of a “kangaroo-route-centric” approach, Mueller said, referring to the traditional model of linking Europe with Australia via cities in southeast Asia.
The Malaysian Air code will appear on Emirates flights to 38 European destinations, as well as 15 locations in the U.S. and 38 in the Gulf, Africa and Indian Ocean, according to the statement. Emirates will gain access to some 300 daily flights.
Malaysia Airlines brought in a new CEO and started the airline “fresh” earlier this year under different corporate entity. The airline is trying to become more of a regional player, although not sure how it can compete against AirAsia that is also based in Kuala Lumpur.
The airline has been cutting or downsizing routes especially to Europe and Australia. If you are ticketed on Malaysia Airlines flights to/from Paris or Amsterdam after January 2016, you should contact your issuing agent to have them rebook you.
There were times when Malaysia Airlines flew to Buenos Aires via Johannesburg and Cape Town or to New York via Stockholm. Those days are long gone.