Kuala Lumpur, 27 May 2019- Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) and Japan Airlines (JAL) today announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding to pursue a joint business agreement. The joint business ultimately aims to improve customer convenience by enhancing the quality of services provided by both carriers on flights between Malaysia and Japan.
In 2012, when MAB decided to join the oneworld alliance, the two airlines began offering codeshare flight operations between Japan and Malaysia. The joint business will mark a new chapter which will provide even more value to customers.
In addition to it, MAB and JAL will also seek to cooperate in a wider scope, such as exchanging best practices, exploring collaboration in other operational areas such as cargo and developing jointly tourism in both Japanese and Malaysian markets.
Both MAB and JAL have already filed an application with MAVCOM and Japan`s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, seeking exemptions/immunity from antitrust laws. If approved, MAB and JAL will strive to deliver convenient travel options to customers with a comprehensive network throughout Malaysia and Japan.
Currently, Malaysia Airlines operates a 12 times weekly service and Japan Airlines operates a 7 times weekly service, representing a total 19 times weekly flights, between Kuala Lumpur to Tokyo. Malaysia Airlines also operates a daily service from Kuala Lumpur to Osaka and a 2 times weekly service from Kota Kinabalu to Tokyo. The agreement will open up both countries to incoming traffic from their respective markets.
Captain Izham Ismail, Group Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia Airlines said, "Japan Airlines has always had strong commercial links with the national carrier and we are delighted to have taken this next important step with our close oneworld partner. This partnership will provide better efficiencies and a more comprehensive network for our customers whilst also playing a key role in further strengthening trade ties between Malaysia and Japan, increasing tourism and promoting Kuala Lumpur International Airport as an air hub.”
“The start of this joint business between Malaysia Airlines and Japan Airlines is an important milestone of our Long Term Business Plan which looks to explore more strategic opportunities as well as deepen more partnerships,” added Captain Izham.
"We are delighted to announce our partnership with Malaysia Airlines as we look to bring more benefits, more choices, and more value to our customers. It is an honour to deepen the relationship with a partner that places hospitality at its core, where we look to provide a comfortable travel experience for our mutual customers. This partnership can potentially increase passenger traffic between the two countries and open up commercial opportunities,” said Yuji Akasaka, president of Japan Airlines.
Subject to the relevant approvals, Malaysia Airlines and Japan Airlines intend to start the joint business in 2020 to coincide with the Tokyo Olympics.