SIA-Malaysia Airlines deal may take off within a year

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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 6): The joint business arrangement between Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Malaysia Airlines Bhd is expected to take off within a year.

SIA chief executive Goh Choon Phong told The Business Times today that the wide-ranging pact between the national carriers of Singapore and Malaysia to share revenue on flights between the two countries and expand codeshare routes could take effect within nine months to a year, depending on when the necessary regulatory approvals are obtained.

Downplaying past competition between both national carriers, Goh said the deal would benefit the airlines and that they are "very comfortable" with the arrangement.

"What happens between the two countries is beyond me but we are talking about commercial organisations and how we can have an arrangement whereby both parties can walk away as a winner," he said.

Malaysia Airlines and SIA inked the agreement last week, which also includes exploring the option of offering airpasses, which will enable customers travelling to Malaysia through the Kuala Lumpur and Singapore hubs more choices to visit other parts of the country such as Kuantan, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu on a single ticket.