Malaysia Airlines to join Oneworld on 1 February 2013

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Malaysia Airlines (MAS) will join the Oneworld alliance on 1 February 2013.

The carrier received the clearance after it completed a review of its readiness that was conducted by Qantas Airways, says the alliance.

The Australian airline is sponsoring MAS' entry into Oneworld.

MAS had previously said that it would join Oneworld by end 2012. But Oneworld says that while the programme is on track for completion in the coming weeks, the Malaysian carrier's addition into the alliance will take place in early 2013 to avoid the end-of-year holiday season and for other administrative reasons.

"MAS will substantially expand the alliance's network in Southeast Asia, where it will add 14 destinations and one country - Brunei - to the Oneworld map. More significantly, it will strengthen the alliance's connectivity between many key business cities in Asia and other parts of the world."

The alliance will allow MAS customers to be part of a global network, says MAS group chief executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya.

It will also allow the airline to tap into all the financial benefits that come from being part of a global alliance, through additional passenger feed and cost reduction opportunities, he adds.