Etihad Airways has signed a new codeshare agreement with Malaysia Airlines. Under the deal, the Abu Dhabi-based airline will place its two-letter ‘EY’ code on Malaysia Airlines’ flights between the country’s capital city, Kuala Lumpur, and Kota Kinabalu, Penang, Kuching and Langkawi.
In turn, Malaysia Airlines will place its ‘MH’ code on services operated by Etihad between its home base of Abu Dhabi and Bahrain, Doha and Muscat in the Gulf region.
The deal with Malaysia Airlines brings to ten the number of codeshare agreements now operated by Etihad Airways.
The new codeshare flights pave the way for closer co-operation between the two airlines on a range of other joint initiatives, including collaboration on frequent flyer programmes, ground handling, customer support, cargo and airport lounge access, Etihad said.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive, said: “Asia is an important market for Etihad and there is huge demand amongst our customers to travel beyond the Malaysian capital, which this new codeshare agreement now allows.
Idris Jala, Malaysia Airlines’ managing director and chief executive, said: “This codeshare arrangement with Etihad is timely as Malaysia is a favourite destination for visitors from the Middle East as well an ideal transit country when they travel to our destinations from the association of southeast Asian nations (ASEAN), the Orient, Australia and New Zealand.
“With a steady increase in tourist arrivals over the years from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, we hope to tap into this partnership to further increase the passenger numbers from that region, not only to Malaysia but to our destinations beyond.”
Since launching services to the Malaysian capital in January 2007, Kuala Lumpur has quickly established itself as one of Etihad’s most popular business and leisure travel destinations. The Abu Dhabi-based airline currently operates six weekly Boeing B777 flights to the Malaysian capital.
Kuala Lumpur is one of seven destinations served by Etihad in the Asia-Pacific region. The airline also flies to Bangkok, Jakarta, Manila, Singapore, Brisbane and Sydney
Etihad currently has nine other codeshare agreements with Jet Airways, Yemen Airways, Saudi Arabia Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Sri Lankan Airlines, Royal Air Maroc, Philippine Airlines, Middle East Airlines and UK-based airline, BMI.