Published August 3rd, 2006 - 11:54 GMT

Gulf Air and Malaysia Airlines entered a code-sharing agreement opening up routes and services to each other in their respective networks effective September 18, this year.

The agreement, inked at a signing ceremony, in Subang, allows Malaysia Airlines to market seats under its code on the Gulf Air operated flights between Kuala Lumpur bound for Bahrain and Oman.

“Code-sharing enables travellers to enjoy a seamless product, as a single airline supervises the passenger’s entire journey,” says Gulf Air President and Chief Executive James Hogan.

“Such an arrangement offers significant economic and consumer benefits giving passengers price and service options.”

During the summer, Gulf Air flies six flights a week to Kuala Lumpur. Later this year Gulf Air and Malaysian Airlines will expand the commercial relationship further with Gulf Air adding its code on parts of Malaysian Airlines domestic and international network.

The code share comes shortly after Gulf Air and a high-level delegation from Malaysian Tourism Promotion Board (MTPB) agreed to set up a task force to study possibilities of joint co-operation to promote the upcoming 50 years of Malaysia's nationhood in 2007.

At the meeting in May in Bahrain, the two sides had also discussed possibilities of code-sharing between the two carriers.

“We are very excited to begin this commercial relationship with Gulf Air. This is in line with our strategy of shifting from point-to-point network to hub and spoke connecting network,” says Malaysia Airlines Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Idris Jala.

“Malaysia is one of the popular destinations for Arabs as it has been witnessing a steady increase in the tourist's arrival over the years from the GCC countries and the country is expecting a significant jump in the tourists arrival in 2007.

“This agreement is yet another manifestation of the ‘winning coalitions’ thrust of our business turnaround plan. We will leverage on such arrangements to build our of hub-and-spoke approach to reduce costs and concurrently improve load factors and yields.”

According to Malaysian officials, around 147,646 Gulf tourist visited Malaysia last year up from 123,000 in 2004.

Gulf Air has been flying to Kuala Lumpur for many years and its Holiday Division, Gulf Air Holidays, has been offering travellers fantastic, value-for-money holiday packages.

Gulf Air already has code-sharing agreements with American Airlines, Thai Airways, BMI, Cyprus Airways, Egyptair, Philippine Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Indian Airlines, Jet Airways, KLM, Olympic Airlines, Oman Air, Qantas Airways, Royal Jordanian, Saudi Arabian Airlines and Middle East Airlines

About Gulf Air
Founded in 1950, Gulf Air, owned by the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Sultanate of Oman, is the only truly Pan Gulf carrier in the Middle East region.

The regional, geographic and cultural values that the airline has embraced over more than half a century are still central to defining its brand and service ethos.

Today the airline’s network stretches from Europe to Asia and covers 50 cities in 30 countries. The fleet comprises 34 aircraft and has the distinct advantage of possessing the strongest network across the Middle East.

A platform for sustained commercial operation has been established over the past three years as part of a multi-phased turnaround programme. It has also provided a framework for a succession of innovative products and services including the unique Sky Chefs and Sky Nannies that form part of Gulf Air’s ’smart airline, successful business’ vision.

International recognition has been achieved as a result of the turnaround programme leading to numerous awards for the airline’s innovative and high quality products and services: These include:
• Best Onboard Catering in First and Business Class (Skytrax World Airline Catering Awards 2005)
• Best designed in-flight magazine (American Creativity Awards,2005)
• Middle East Leading First Class Airline (World Travel Awards 2005)
• World’s Leading Airport Lounge (World Travel Awards 2005)
• Middle East & North African Platinum Best Airline (MENA Travel Awards 2004
• Most Improved Airline (Skytrax Awards 2004)
• Middle East First Class Airline (Arabian Business Awards)
• Best new product launch for in-flight services (PAX international Readership Awards)
• Best First Class Onboard Food (Skytrax Food Category 2004)
• Best Business Class Check-in (Skytrax Check-in Category 2004)
• Middle East region’s best airport restaurant for its restaurant in Bahrain International Airport lounge (PAX International Readership Awards 2005)


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