Malaysia Airlines has cleared the way to join the British Airways-led Oneworld alliance from February 1 next year.
The Asian carrier had to complete a thorough review of its readiness conducted by Qantas, which is sponsoring its entry into the alliance, with the central team at the alliance.
The airline’s inclusion is being held until the beginning of 2013 to avoid the end-of-year holiday season and for other administrative reasons, MAS said.
The carrier will expand the global airline grouping’s coverage to some 840 destinations in 156 countries. When Oneworld’s other members elect are added – Qatar Airways and Sri Lankan Airlines – the alliance network reaches to 856 destinations in 159 countries.
Oneworld chief executive Bruce Ashby said Malaysia Airlines’ Kuala Lumpur home will provide passengers with another of the world’s best airports, geographically well placed between existing hubs.
“This will greatly enhance Oneworld’s offering throughout one of the world’s fastest growing regions for air travel demand,” he added.
MAS group chief executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya added: “Oneworld membership represents one of the most significant achievements to date for Malaysia Airlines.
“It will strengthen our competitive position considerably, enabling our customers to enjoy a truly global network together with our partners who include some of the best and biggest airlines in the world, while enabling us also to tap into all the financial benefits that come from being part of a global alliance, through additional passenger feed and cost reduction opportunities.”