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This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily on June 28, 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Airlines Bhd and its Singapore counterpart, Singapore Airlines Ltd (SIA), will explore a wide-ranging strategic partnership to build on their existing code-share agreement that covers flights between Singapore and Malaysia.

This follows a recent flight-sharing and marketing tie-up between the national carrier and Japan Airlines Co Ltd (JAL).

In a joint statement yesterday, Malaysia Airlines and SIA said the two airlines have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to expand the scope of their existing cooperation, increase global connectivity for Malaysia and Singapore, and enhance their service offerings for their customers.

Under the terms of the MoU, both airlines will explore enhanced ties including a significant expansion of code-share flights beyond Singapore-Malaysia routes.

Other potential co-operation could involve cargo, as well as maintenance, repair and overhaul services. All these are subject to obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals,” they added.

A formal agreement is to be finalised in the coming months and will also include SIA’s subsidiaries such as SilkAir and Scoot, as well as Malaysia Airlines’ turboprop arm Firefly.

Malaysia Airlines group chief executive officer (CEO) Izham Ismail said the agreement will, for the first times, involve all five airlines.

“SIA and Malaysia Airlines operate in a region with a rapidly growing air travel market, presenting significant growth opportunities for both carriers,” said SIA CEO Goh Choon Phong.

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