Malaysia Airlines eyes partnerships with Qantas, British Airways

By David Flynn, June 17 2017
Malaysia Airlines eyes partnerships with Qantas, British Airways

Malaysia Airlines plans to expand its relationship with Oneworld partner airlines such as Qantas and British Airways by offering codeshare flights carrying QF and BA numbers.

The move would be made possible by the airline switching over to a new reservations platform, reports industry watchers CAPA.

“This will open up a whole other world to us”, observed Malaysia Airlines CEO Peter Bellew. "It’s a bit of a joke you are part of oneworld and you can’t sell a flight on our own site."

CAPA observes that "obvious holes in (Malaysia Airlines') portfolio of codeshare partners are Oneworld members British Airways and Qantas. BA is the only Oneworld member serving Kuala Lumpur that does not yet have a codeshare with Malaysia Airlines."

Qantas no longer flies to Kuala Lumpur, although this is often suggested as a potential Airbus A330 destination as the airline pushes into Asia.

British Airways began flying to Kuala Lumpur in 2015 but "initially elected against pursuing a codeshare on the route due to overcapacity concerns," CAPA reflects.

Malaysia Airlines continues to fly its Airbus A380s to London, but by the middle of 2018 will begin to replace the superjumbos with advanced fuel-efficient Airbus A350s.


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Dec 2011

Total posts 11

I have flown Malaysia Airlines many times and the loads out of Sydney are always near full. I would dearly love to see MH extend the A380 service to Sydney.

American Airlines - AAdvantage

13 Jul 2015

Total posts 276

Filling an A330 and a A380 are totally different ball games however. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Dec 2011

Total posts 11

Maybe a bit of promotion and some cheap fares could help. MH dont seem to be spending much in Australia on advertising at the moment. In my opinion the A380 is a much better aircraft to fly in and the service is always good. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

03 Jan 2013

Total posts 60

MH and QF codeshare - yes yes yes!  

The MH product is excellent, intra-Asian connections out of KUL into virtually anywhere in Asia are very good, KLIA is a real alternative to Changi as a transit hub minus the crowds.
It's about time - bring it on!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 372

MH are a good airline with quality product, but KL airport doesn't even come close to Changi in any category!!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Mar 2016

Total posts 169

I like KL airport and i've never had any complaints about MH service, food, hard product etc. but i'm sceptical about how well this works on QFs end. They definitely need enhanced Asia codeshares to compete with SQ ex-AU but my money would have been on CX! 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Jul 2012

Total posts 117

Yes, except Cathay's money are clearly not on Qantas, and nowhere near it.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

12 Jun 2011

Total posts 148

It's definitely a shame there is so much bad blood between CX and QF. Not helped by the scuttling of JQHK. 

An expanded partnership between MH and QF would be interesting. Would distinguish a budget (SIN) vs premium (KUL) Asian strategy. Question is would QF see value in this. 

MH probably doesn't need more capacity as they already have 2x daily from SYD and MEL, daily from PER and 4x weekly ADL. A bump in capacity could be achieved with the arrival of the A350. If QF were to introduce service to KUL they'd need to consider overcapacity competing against D7, bringing the total to 5x daily to KUL from both MEL and SYD

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

12 Jan 2016

Total posts 2

I wouldn't mind QF shifting a couple of their SIN operations to KUL

15 Sep 2012

Total posts 93

Unfortunately  Malaysia  Airlines reputation with the general public  in Australia  has taken a severe battering (UNDESERVED!) after MH17 AND MH370 therefore unlikely passenger numbers would justify an A380. Going to take a long time to regain confidence  of Australian public. Malaysia  are planning  to dispose of A380s.  A350 wll be a greaat choice for them. Patrnering with British  and Qantas is a good move as two airlines trusted by public and will provide extra passengers .

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Sep 2012

Total posts 241

Re A380 v A330, the MH A330s are popular in business because of the new seat with mostly direct aisle access and flat beds. The J seats on the A380 are previous generation. They aren't flat and have no universal direct aisle access. So a lesser product. Possibly another reason they're not offered to Australia.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1248

The A380  J seats may not offer direct aisle access to every passenger but they are certianly fully-flat.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 May 2015

Total posts 76

This sounds very promising. I've just booked a holiday to Thailand and Malaysia and the Qantas options for flying internally within Asia are terrible. There is Jetstar, but I find their fares uncompetitive when you book a fare type that earns points (not to mention no lounge access, basic service, poor flight times, etc). MH often has better options that are cheaper than Jetstar, and you can even book Business fares that are competitive (even when compared to Jetstar economy).

Overall I am a big fan of MH but I can't wait until they fix their website. I can't book flights through their website because my partners name is too long and their system can't cope. I normally book MH flights through Expedia. The good news is it looks like MH have now using 6 digit reservation codes (instead of the old 5 digit reservation codes), but their website is so bad I can't even bring up my reservation using their 'Manage my booking' link (let alone select seats in advance). Mind you I can see the booking through my Qantas profile!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 May 2016

Total posts 33

Qantas and MAS should strategically cooperate to tap into the Malaysian markets as QF doesn't fly direct to KUL.  JetStar isn't working well for premium flyers and not worth it when you fly J to SIN and have to then fly Y in SIN - KUL segment for the price of J on JetStar metal! Do they know how many Malayaians (non KL residents) are forced to take SQ back to KUL with transit in SIN which is a pain (forced to stay overnight in SIN for transit)!  Since the termination of EK flight direct between MEL and KUL, most of these usual flyers are on MH or SQ metals.  No wonder SQ are increasing their capacities between MEL to 5 flights per day!  Bloody missing out great opportunities for Qantas to secure Malaysian market!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1248

Couldn't agree more.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Jun 2015

Total posts 57

Recent bomb threats on MH out of MEL doesn't help the cause. Yes nothing happened but considering this happened on MH who already went through 370 and 17, plans should be shelved for now IMO.

No MH or QF from BNE-KUL. No matter how many times my QFF number is put into MH booking it is never there at check in. So, maybe the new system will make MH real OW members rather than OW 'light'. 

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