Malaysia Airlines & Singapore Airlines Grow Codeshare Deal

Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines have rebooted and upgraded their previous codeshare arrangements between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. The agreement went into hiatus as the two countries’ borders closed but will reactivate later this month.

Singapore Airlines & Malaysia Airlines are resuming their codeshare arrangement at the end of the month. Photo: Getty Images

Malaysia Airlines will add SQ flight numbers to 15 domestic destinations

With Malaysia and Singapore launching two-way vaccinated travel lane arrangements on Monday, November 29, Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines swiftly moved to restore their codeshare agreement.

From November 29, the previous codeshare arrangements will recommence and expand. Malaysia Airlines will add the SQ flight number on flights to 15 new domestic destinations with Malaysia from that date.

The newly added destinations include Alor Setar, Bintulu, Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Terengganu, Kuantan, Kuching, Labuan, Langkawi, Miri, Penang, Sandakan, Sibu, and Tawau.

“Malaysia Airlines looks forward to the long-awaited vaccinated travel lane (VTL) between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, the first VTL for Malaysia,” said Malaysia Airlines CEO Izham Ismail.

Malaysia Airlines will allow Singapore to codeshare to 15 destinations in Malaysia. Photo: Getty Images.

Singapore Airlines offers codeshare arrangements to European & African destinations

Further south, Singapore Airlines is adding an MH flight number from January 1 on flights to Barcelona, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Moscow, Munich, Rome, Zurich, Cape Town, and Johannesburg. Both airlines are looking to add to the range of destinations soon,

“Partnerships with like-minded carriers are an integral part of Singapore Airlines’ strategy,” said Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong. The partnership is a testament to the spirit of collaboration that underpins the strong and long-standing relationship between Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines.”

The codeshare arrangement between the two airlines dates back to 2019, but the two airlines have a long mutual history. Both airlines grew out of the 1972 breakup of Malaysia-Singapore Airlines (MSA).

Usually, the short sector between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore buzzes with activity, but closed borders put the brakes on that. Next week, Singapore Airlines has scheduled just three return services a day between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Malaysia Airlines is directing its passengers on these flights.

Singapore Airlines is currently using a combination of Boeing 737-800 and Airbus A380-800 aircraft on the route. Fast forward two weeks and Malaysia Airlines has seven of its own flights scheduled down to Singapore, and subsidiary FlyFireFly has a further five flights timetabled in.

Malaysia’s website doesn’t yet say what flights will operate under vaccinated travel lane arrangements and what will not.

Singapore Airlines A380
Singapore Airlines’ A380s will cease flying to Kuala Lumpur at the end of the month. Photo: Getty Images.

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Flights ramp up as vaccinated travel lane opens

Once the vaccinated travel lane arrangements kick off, Singapore Airlines plans on flying a combination of VTL and non-VTL flights. There will be up to two return flights a day for passengers who meet vaccinated travel lane requirements and up to three return flights a day for those who do not.

With the advent of the vaccinated travel lane, the Singapore Airlines A380 will drop off the sector, being replaced by the Airbus A350-900. The smaller Airbus will service the route along with the Boeing 737-800.

Singapore’s low-cost subsidiary airline Scoot will also fly four VTL return flights a week between the two cities from November 29.

“The expanded cooperation between Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines coincides with the launch of vaccinated travel lanes between Singapore and Malaysia, and will offer enhanced connectivity and greater convenience when customers travel,” said the Singapore Airlines CEO,

“We look forward to more VTLs for Malaysia, so we can safely revive travel globally,” added Izham Ismail. “Our codeshare expansion with Singapore Airlines to Europe and South Africa couldn’t happen at a better time, and we are especially grateful for the synergy and warm relationship between the two airlines, that has made this partnership possible.”