Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has announced its intention to join Oneworld and expects to start flying as part of the alliance in late 2012.

"With the world airline industry increasingly focused on alliances, we have carried out careful analysis of the options now available to Malaysia Airlines. The time is clearly right for our company to join one of the global service groups and Oneworld is clearly the best option for us," said MAS' CEO Azmil Zahruddin.

Qantas Airways is sponsoring MAS' entry into the alliance.

"Oneworld already features four of the best airlines in Asia-Pacific, including member elect Kingfisher Airlines. Adding another leading Asian carrier, in Malaysia Airlines, will greatly enhance Oneworld's offering throughout the world's fast growing region for air travel demand," said Oneworld CEO Bruce Ashby.

MAS, which already codeshares with Oneworld members Cathay Pacific Airways and Royal Jordanian, will develop links with more members as it prepares to join the alliance.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news