Singapore Airlines (SIA) recently announced an expansion of codeshared flights with Malaysia Airlines (MAS).
This triggered a strong reaction from people on the internet.
FB comments slam codesharing of flights with MAS
In response, many people voiced their fury at what they saw as paying the price for one product, SIA, only to end up with another product, MAS, instead.
Some also slammed SIA for purportedly "damaging its reputation" by signing such an agreement with MAS.
What does codesharing actually entail?
According to travel media Conde Nast Traveler, a codeshared flight entails an airline putting its name and number, or "designator code", and selling tickets for the flight of another airline.
The benefit of such a tactic is that the airline is allowed to offer flights to destinations that it does not actually fly to.
In the case of SIA, here's how to tell if your flight is codeshared, according to their website:
"A Singapore Airlines codeshare flight has a four-digit flight number following the letters ‘SQ’, although the flight is operated by one of our partner airlines." (bolded emphasis ours)
Airlines of both countries looking at increased cooperation
In any case, it appears that the rationale behind the decision is to tap into the region's growing air travel market, according to SIA's press release.
SIA CEO Goh Choon Phong said:
"SIA and MAB operate in a region with a rapidly growing air travel market, presenting significant growth opportunities for both carriers. Both airlines have extensive operations within ASEAN, as well as large networks that cover many other parts of the world."
As such, the expansion of codeshared flights is expected to build on current flights between Singapore and Malaysia, as well as flights beyond these routes.
Other areas of cooperation being explored include cargo, maintenance, repair and overhaul services, although these are subject to obtaining the necessary approvals for regulation.
The agreement will also include three other airlines, the subsidiaries of both carriers:
MAS's CEO, Captain Izham Ismail, also stated:
"Malaysia Airlines has always historically had strong commercial and cultural links with Singapore Airlines. My team and I are extremely pleased to be able to build on that close relationship even further, this time across many areas of both airlines’ ecosystems."
Mahathir ok with MAS being sold
MAS has been struggling lately.
On June 25, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said the government was fine with selling the country's national carrier, as long as it kept its identity, The Star reported.
He added that there were many steps needed to "resuscitate" the airline, and that it was a challenge.
"We have been making changes to MAS, and each time we make a change, they fail, so this time we have to be a little bit more careful in the steps we take to resuscitate MAS.
It is not just a change of management. There a lot of other things that are wrong with the airlines which have to be corrected."
Shukor Yusof, head of Malaysian aviation consultancy Endau Analytics, added, "Malaysia Airlines needs as many tie-ups as possible to stay alive."
Top image collage from Singapore Airlines Facebook, Malaysia Airlines Facebook, ST Facebook and CNA Facebook