Malaysia Airlines And Japan Airlines Celebrate One Year Of Joint Venture

It’s now one year since Malaysia Airlines and Japan Airlines (JAL) launched their joint business venture. The flag carriers of Malaysia and Japan launched the initiative to provide additional choices for passengers and enable greater flexibility across their networks following the onset of the global health crisis.

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Malaysia Airlines is proud of its venture with JAL. Photo: Malaysia Airlines

A grand gesture

The two Asian carriers marked the one-year anniversary of their partnership with the carrying 44 Malaysian Olympic contingents and officials to the Tokyo Olympic Games this weekend. It was a fitting move for the occasion as the Olympics is an event that symbolizes progressive international relations.

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Flight MH9118 / JL724 was operated by Japan Airlines, and the Olympic personnel arrived in Tokyo at 06:50 this morning. Photo:

The two carriers partnered up in an effort to provide greater connectivity between the two countries. The pair announced last summer that they would collaborate to provide a combined total of four flights a week between Kuala Lumpur and Tokyo throughout last July and August 2020.

The oneworld members were looking to leverage their partnership to continue some sort of connectivity amid the stringent travel restrictions that were introduced following the pandemic. A year later, the conditions are still tough throughout the Asia-Pacific travel industry. Nonetheless, the carriers are proud of the progress that they have made.

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The Malaysian athletes with Malaysia Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, Group CEO of Malaysia Airlines, Captain Izham Ismail, and other officials at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Photo: Malaysia Airlines

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Plenty of potential

The leadership of Malaysia Airlines has expressed its gratitude for the partnership. The airline hopes that the relationship with Japan Airlines can help to reboot air travel as Asia continues to recover from the impact of the pandemic.

“This year marks the first anniversary of our joint business partnership and long-standing relationship with Japan Airlines, and we are pleased to celebrate the collaboration with Japan Airlines flying our national heroes to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020,” Malaysia Aviation Group CEO Captain Izham Ismail shared in a statement.

“As part of Malaysia Airlines’ Long-Term Business Plan, we commenced the Joint Business with Japan Airlines in July 2020, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the challenges, the joint business strategy has provided advantages to both airlines, leveraging on each other’s strengths to provide better connectivity and facilitating trade between the two countries. We believe the partnership will help rebuild traffic, boost the recovery and resume frequencies back to pre-pandemic level.”

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Malaysian contingents checking in at dedicated lanes at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Photo: Malaysia Airlines

Value in partnerships

Japan Airlines first joined oneworld in April 2007.  It would take another six years for Malaysia Airlines to become part of the club five following its joining in February 2013.

The two are not the only carriers that have been ramping up their oneworld connections in recent times. For instance, Qatar Airways has been making the most out of its links with American Airlines to scale up its US offerings. The flag carrier of Qatar was also ecstatic when Alaska Airlines joined the fold earlier this year. Now, it has a stronger US presence than before the pandemic, flying to 12 gateways across the country.

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JAL will be hoping for better international conditions ahead. Photo: Getty Images

Restrictions are still limiting consistent recovery across the prime markets that Malaysia Airlines and Japan Airlines serve. This factor can be noticed amid the Olympics largely occurring with no fans inside the venues across Tokyo. However, this factor hasn’t impacted the faith that the two airlines have with their partnership as they hope it can bring greater connectivity for passengers in future chapters.

What do you think about this joint business partnership between Malaysia Airlines and Japan Airlines? What are your thoughts about the future of the partnership between the two carriers? Let us know what you think of the prospects of the move in the comment section.