Malaysia Airlines System joins the oneworld alliance today. And this means that you can redeem your Avios for their flights, as well as earning them by flying on Malaysia.
Let’s start by looking at redemption options.
To give BA credit, Malaysia Airlines flights are already showing on ba.com. As usual, when an airline first joins an alliance, there is HUGE amounts of availability. I saw up to 5 business class seats available, for example.
There are three great bits of news for anyone planning to visit Kuala Lumpur (or indeed Singapore, which is only 185 miles away, airport to airport):
1. Malaysia Airlines is flying these out of Heathrow:
with the London route being the first to receive the A380. This slide show shows the very impressive First Class and business class product available, which looks like it could be better than the BA offering.
2. They are also flying them out of Paris (and 777′s from Amsterdam)
Now, why does that matter?
Well, Paris to Kuala Lumpur is 6,492 miles. Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur is 6,363 miles. London to Kuala Lumpur is 6,593 miles. And 6,500 miles is the cut-off between two Avios pricing zones.
Flying out of Charles de Gaulle or Schiphol will cost you 60,000 Avios return in Economy, 120,000 in Business and 180,000 in First. From London, you need more Avios – 70,000 for Economy, 140,000 for Business and 210,000 for First.
And if that wasn’t enough, you also save on the taxes flying out of Paris or Amsterdam because there is no Air Passenger Duty. Business Class, return, is £481 of tax from London but just £337 from Paris and £288 from Amsterdam. And you save 20,000 Avios!
These numbers mean that using a 241 to get Singapore becomes less interesting. On BA, you’re looking at 140,000 Avios plus £1,000 of taxes for 2 Club World seats with a 241. On Malaysian, if you start in Amsterdam, you’d pay 240,000 Avios and £576 in taxes, get potentially a better seat and get to save your 241 for another trip.
The A380 will be flying from Paris from March 1st.
3. Malaysia has a decent route network to Australasia and other parts of Asia
Have a look at the route map and try out prices at ba.com. Taxes are high – higher than Cathay Pacific, for example – but availability should be OK.
Earning on Malaysia
BA has also published its earning chart for flights taken on Malaysia.
All in all, this is a great addition to oneworld. Whilst you can’t use an Amex 2-4-1 voucher for a redemption on Malaysia, they add a lot of extra flexibility for trips eastwards from London.
And if you do head out to Kuala Lumpur, I can recommend the Four Seasons Langkawi if you’re looking for an excellent beach resort. Some people, if staying for a week, mix in a few days at The Datai down the road.