Although Malaysia Airlines joined Oneworld alliance back in early 2013, the carrier never really did much to benefit from the Qantas-sponsored initiative. However, the carrier is now looking to change that and, as Chief Executive Officer Peter Bellew said, plans to be a more active member there.
I think we did very little with Oneworld. There were some mistakes made in the past, we’ve had to make a few apologies, eat a bit of humble pie and admit we were the weakest link in the chain. But I think there’s a great opportunity for Malaysia Airlines within the Oneworld alliance and there’s plenty of business to be done there. We have a lot to offer the other carriers because we do fly to some relatively obscure places, and offer great connections at good value and a lovely product.
MAB CEO also joked about how Oneworld CEO Rob Gurney is ‘kicking my butt to get me properly aligned with what’s happening, and he’s been very supportive to what we’re doing’.
He also revealed plans for a complete reboot of MAB’s frequent flyer scheme Enrich.
I think the Enrich program has immense potential. In Malaysia, which is our core market, it’s the most recognised loyalty brand but we’ve done very, very little with it over the years… there’s been a lack of resources put on it, and maybe because of everything else that’s going on. We haven’t been treating (Enrich) like a business. It’s been a little bit of an interesting sideshow, whereas it should have been core part of the business, so we’re going to invest in people and systems and the backend in the next 12 months.
To drive Enrich forward, Malaysia Airlines brought in a loyalty consultant from Australia – Mark Ross-Smith. He will take over MAB Loyalty and Enrich portfolio.
I think this time next year you’ll see a vastly different business. Of all the things in the company, Enrich has got the most potential to be a very significant part of the business over the years.
He also promised that: 'the overall program will become much more attractive' and more competitive.