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SIA and Malaysia Airlines to expand partnership

Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines have signed a memorandum of understanding to expand their codeshare agreement, among other areas of co-operation.

In a joint statement, the airline groups said they will explore a wide-ranging strategic partnership to significantly expand codeshare flights on Singapore-Malaysia routes.

Other potential areas of collaboration include cargo and MRO services, as well as enhancements to frequent-flyer programmes.

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All of the initiatives are subject to regulatory approvals, and the parties plan to formalise the agreement in the coming months. This will include SIA subsidiaries SilkAir and Scoot, as well as Malaysia Airlines' sister carrier Firefly.

"Both airlines have extensive operations within ASEAN, as well as large networks that cover many other parts of the world," notes SIA chief executive Goh Choon Phong, adding that regional air travel is rapidly growing, presenting both airlines with significant growth opportunities.

Goh expects the MoU to expand the scope of SIA's co-operation, increase global connectivity for Malaysia and Singapore, and enhance service offerings to customers.

Malaysia Airlines' group chief executive Izham Ismail notes that the carrier "has always had historically strong commercial and cultural links with SIA".

He adds: "Via this partnership, we look forward to adding more value to the customer proposition."

The two airlines are keen competitors within Southeast Asia, and had shared beginnings as Malaysia-Singapore Airlines, before splitting in 1972.

They first entered into a codeshare agreement in 2005, in an apparent response to challenges from new low-cost airlines and liberalisation in Southeast Asia.

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