Malaysia Airlines has joined the Arab Air Carriers’ Organisation (AACO), expanding its presence in North Africa and the Middle East. IAG, Turkish Airlines and Pegasus Airlines are the other airlines that are part of the pan-Arabian organisation.
Although Malaysia Airlines operated in loss during the COVID-19 pandemic, the airline utilised the time to establish codeshare agreements and partnerships, most notably with Singapore Airlines, British Airways and JAL. The association with the Arab Air Carriers’ Organisation is the latest in its string of collaborations.
“We are delighted to join the AACO as one of its partner airlines, further extending our reach and network to facilitate global air connectivity whilst elevating our brand presence within the Middle East and African region. At a time when uncertainty still lingers within the aviation industry, it is vital for us to leverage on our strategic partnerships as we anticipate the safe reopening of our borders,” commented Captain Izham Ismail, Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia Airlines Berhad.
AACO is the Arab League’s regional airline organisation, having a membership of 32 airlines, including major players like Emirates, Qatar Airways and Saudia. It covers 408 airports in 124 countries, giving Malaysia an extensive network of carriers with which to collaborate.
Association Will Focus on R&D, Safety and Security
According to the CEO, the relationship will allow the AACO and Malaysia Airlines to capitalise on each other’s capabilities and expertise in research and development, increase safety and security and share knowledge about new technologies and digitisation.
“Malaysia Airlines is a pioneer in aviation, particularly in terms of customer service and regional connectivity throughout Southeast Asia and beyond. The Arab region’s ties to Malaysia have always been strong, and we hope that having Malaysia Airlines as a Partner Airline would strengthen those ties even more. I am confident that the collaboration will benefit both Malaysia Airlines and AACO alike,” he said.
The news of the cooperation with AACO follows the airline’s statement that pilgrimage flights between Kuala Lumpur and Jeddah and Madinah will restart in 2022.