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Photo Essay: Malaysia Airlines joins oneworld, unveils special livery aircraft. oneworld double mileage offer.

by Devesh Agarwal, reporting from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Malaysia Airlines officially joined the oneworld alliance of airlines, as its 12th member, at 12:01am Malaysia Time (+8 GMT), earlier today.

A day earlier on January 31, the airline had a series of events to celebrate its joining the alliance. Bangalore Aviation was present at the occasion, and brings you this photo essay of the events of the day.

In the morning the airline unveiled its aircraft painted in the special oneworld livery. In the evening, the Malaysia Airlines Group CEO Ahmad Jauhari (AJ) Yahya formally signed the joining contract at a live televised press event. The evening ended with a gala full sit down dinner with over 400 guests.

All ceremonies were attended by the CEOs of oneworld, and its member airlines, uniformed representatives (cabin and customer service crew) of all the airlines, and the world media.

The gala dinner added ministers and senior officers from the Malaysian Government, ambassadors to Malaysia from the home country of each the oneworld member and member-elect airlines, the airlines’ most elite frequent flyers, a host of beauty queens, including the Malaysia Airlines cabin crew, amongst others.

Malaysia Airlines Airbus A330-300 9M-MTE in special oneworld livery. See another photo here.
This aircraft performed the first flight of the airline as a member of oneworld in the early hours of Feb 1 from Kuala Lumpur to Melbourne.
The other 88 aircraft of the airline will wear the oneworld orb near the front doors. One Airbus A380 and one Boeing 737-800 will also be painted in the special oneworld livery in the coming months.
(L-R) Alan Joyce, CEO, QANTAS who sponsored Malaysia Airlines entry in to oneworld, Malaysia Airlines Group CEO Ahmad Jauhari (AJ) Yahya, Bruce Ashby, CEO, oneworld.
AJ Yahya flanked by fellow CEOs, or senior management reps of oneworld member airlines. There is a genuine warmth and affection between Alan and AJ which was visible throughout the day. CEOs who attended the function were Qantas Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce, oneworld CEO Bruce Ashby, Cathay Pacific Airways Chief Executive John Slosar, Finnair President and Chief Executive Mika Vehvilainen, Japan Airlines Chairman Masaru Onishi, Member elect SriLankan Airlines Chairman Nishantha Wickramasinghe and Chief Executive Kapila Chandrasena.
Uniformed cabin crew representatives from each of the oneworld member airlines standing top to bottom of the stairs in alphabetical order. AirBerlin, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN Chile, QANTAS, Royal Jordanian, S7 Russian Airlines, and Malaysia Airlines. The Master or rather mistress of ceremonies kept referring to the crew as “girls” requesting them to line up, forgetting that British Airways was represented by Mr. Dave.
CEOs, management reps, uniformed reps, and senior Malaysian government, immigration, airports, and customs officers.
In the humid, sticky heat, it was amazing to see how the Malaysia Airlines cabin crew of Ms. Nur Syaza and Mr. Shahrulufti kept their cool and make-up intact, despite being in full uniform. Incidentally, Malaysia Airlines has won the “World’s Best Cabin Staff” award from Skytrax seven of the last 11 years.
Alan Joyce, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, and Bruce Ashby, celebrate after signing the contract

For photos from the gala evening, please visit the Malaysia Airlines Facebook page.

Notable quotes from the three key CEOs.

Group Chief Executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said

“Becoming a member of oneworld is one of the most significant landmarks in Malaysia Airlines’ history. It will strengthen our competitive position considerably, enabling us to offer our customers a truly global network together with our partners who include some of the best and biggest airlines in the world. At the same time, it will enable us to benefit from all the financial benefits that come from being part of a global alliance, through additional passenger feed and the learning from best practices that it affords. As an airline that has always be proud to offer the highest quality Malaysian Hospitality, we are very pleased and honoured to be lining up as part of what is clearly the world’s top quality airline grouping.”

Qantas Chief Executive Alan Joyce said

“Qantas has been delighted to support Malaysia Airlines throughout its oneworld joining process, and we are very pleased now to be able to welcome another great airline on board the world’s premier global airline alliance.”

oneworld Chief Executive Bruce Ashby

“oneworld aims to be the first choice alliance for the world’s frequent international travellers – with an unrivalled collection of quality carriers, delivering unmatched benefits to customers and to member airlines alike. That remains our focus today, as the alliance adds another great airline. Malaysia Airlines strengthens the alliance’s offering in the growing economic powerhouse of South East Asia, just as we expect oneworld to strengthen Malaysia Airlines’ competitive and financial positions.”

Double miles offer

To celebrate the addition of the Malaysia Airlines to the alliance oneworld has announced a special double miles offer to cardholders of all oneworld® member airlines’ frequent flyer programmes – including those of Malaysia Airlines’ Enrich.

Members of Malaysia Airlines’ Enrich loyalty scheme will receive double Enrich award miles when flying between 15 February 2013 and 15 April 2013 on oneworld partners airberlin, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Qantas, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines and around 30 of their affiliated airlines on tickets bought from today to 15 April 2013, provided they register first at the Enrich website.

Similarly, the 125 million members of existing oneworld airlines’ loyalty programmes will receive double mileage awards when flying on Malaysia Airlines between 15 February 2013 and 15 April 2013. Each of the member airlines’ website has more details.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.
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