By The Associated Press
June 29, 2010 - 04:47 a.m
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Malaysia Airlines on Wednesday inked a codeshare and co-operation pact with Oman Air, expanding its network in the Middle East which it hopes will bolster revenue by more than 26 million ringgit (US$8 million) annually.
Malaysian Airline Chief Executive Azmil Zahruddin said the pact will enable its passengers to fly nonstop from Kuala Lumpur to Muscat and book connecting flights to Amman and Kuwait City on Oman Air, as well as have more flight options to Dubai and Beirut.
Oman Air passengers in return, can book connecting flights on Malaysia Airlines to six new destinations namely Singapore, Hong Kong and the Malaysian cities of Langkawi, Kota Kinabalu, Penang and Kuching.
The Malaysian carrier aims to capture 60 per cent of existing traffic from Middle Eastern points to Kuala Lumpur and beyond, valued at more than 26 million ringgit ($8 million) a year, Azmil said.
"The main rational for this codesharing is to enhance revenue ... this partnership expands and strengthens our hub-and-spoke network. We will be able to capture untapped traffic from secondary points in Middle East through Muscat on our network," he said.
Oman Air Chief Executive Peter Hill said the two airlines will also collaborate on frequent flyer programs, ground handling, customer support, cargo and airport lounge access.
"Expanding the business is the name of the game. We are in this for commercial sustainability," he said. "We believe the partnership will pave the way not only to some Southeast Asian countries but also the Pacific region."
MAS currently offers 17 weekly flights between Kuala Lumpur and the Middle East including Dubai, Jeddah, Beirut and Istanbul. It also operates seasonal flights between Kuwait and Kuala Lumpur. Oman Air currently flies only to Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur in Southeast Asia.