Thursday, November 1, 2012

► MALAYSIA: Ethiopian Airlines, Malaysia Airlines set for closer ties from early 2013 on.

Fresh from the launch of its Addis Ababa - Kuala Lumpur route launch yesterday, Ethiopian Airlines (ET) has announced that plans to set up possible a code share and pro-rate agreement (an agreement between airlines to give each other a fixed price for interlining) with Malaysian carrier, Malaysian Airlines (MH), are at an advanced stage and could come to fruitition "as early as next year, 2013."

An Ethiopian Airbus A350
An Ethiopian Airbus A350-900
According to Ethiopian Airlines' Senior Vice-President of Global Sales, Esayas Woldemariam, who spoke at the welcoming ceremony for Ethiopian Airlines' inaugural flight to Kuala Lumpur, the terms of the agreement are as follows:
This arrangement would see the traffic from 44 countries in Africa to be transported into Kuala Lumpur and would be supplied to MAS.

“MAS will then take it from KL to add to its network that includes the rest of South-East Asia, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

“MAS will also bring the traffic from these countries to be supplied into our Africa network,
” he said.

With Malaysian joining the OneWorld alliance in February next year, and with Ethiopian a Star Alliance member, it is uncertain how the deal will proceed, though as part of oneworld prerequisites, and as a precursor to their Ethiopian Airlines tie up, Malaysian Airlines will first have to successfully complete the synchronisation of its schedule and "IT solutions" to OneWorld specifications.

Recently, Zambia's Ambassador to Ethiopia announced the impending signing of a Bilateral Air Service Agreement between the two countries that would see Lusaka being transformed into a souther African hub for the carrier.