Japan Airlines Co Ltd (JAL) and Malaysia Airlines Bhd have received approval from Malaysian and Japanese authorities to cooperate in a wider scope, such as exchanging best practices, exploring collaboration in other operational areas like cargo and jointly developing tourism in the two markets.
The agreement for joint business will allow the two carriers to cooperate commercially on flights between Malaysia and Japan and aims to deliver customers with more benefits by providing additional flight choices, a larger network, better connections and an enhanced frequent flyer programe.
Since 2012, under the oneworld alliance, the two airlines have begun offering codeshare flight operations between Japan and Malaysia.
In a joint statement, Malaysia Airlines and JAL said the Malaysian Aviation Commission has granted an individual exemption, while Japan`s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism has granted an antitrust immunity for the JV.
JAL president Yuji Akasaka said to coincide with the Tokyo Olympics, the two airlines anticipate launching the joint business relationship in 2020 ,In May this year, Malaysia Airlines had signed a memorandum of understanding with JAL to pursue the joint business agreement.
Malaysia Airlines group chief executive officer Captain Izham Ismail said the partnership would provide better efficiencies and a more comprehensive network for Malaysia Airlines customers, strengthening trade ties between Malaysia and Japan, increasing tourism and promoting Kuala Lumpur International Airport altogether.
He added "JAL has always had strong commercial links with the national carrier and we are delighted to have taken this next important step with our close oneworld partner,".
Currently, Malaysia Airlines operates a 12 times weekly service and JAL operates a 7 times weekly service, representing a total of 19 times weekly flights, between Kuala Lumpur to Tokyo. Malaysia Airlines also operates a daily service from Kuala Lumpur to Osaka and a twice weekly service from Kota Kinabalu to Tokyo.
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