MALAYSIA AIRLINES (MAS) and Virgin Atlantic have delayed the start of their code-sharing arrangement until May, after a review by Australia's International Air Services Commission.

The two airlines were due to launch twice-daily joint services between London and Kuala Lumpur on 26 March. Australian Government approval, however, is required for the code-sharing agreement to be extended to Australia.

The proposed service faces competition from British Airways and Qantas, which dominate routes between Australia and the UK. A similar tie-up between BA and Qantas has also been delayed.

It is unclear whether BA or Qantas lodged an objection to the MAS-Virgin agreement, but it is likely to aggravate strained relations between BA and Virgin Atlantic.

Source: Flight International