Malaysia Airlines brings back Brisbane-Kuala Lumpur flights

Malaysia Airlines brings back Brisbane-Kuala Lumpur flights

Qantas partner Malaysia Airlines will resume non-stop flights between Brisbane and Kuala Lumpur in June 2018, after axing the route two years ago amid broad cost-cutting measures.

With an initial four flights per week in each direction from Wednesday June 6, the airline will fly its Airbus A330-300 jets to the Queensland capital, fitted with its latest fully-flat business class seats.

AusBT review: Malaysia Airlines Airbus A330 business class, KL-Sydney

Flights in each direction will run on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

From Brisbane, MH134 pushes back at 11.20pm to reach Kuala Lumpur at 5.50am the following day: allowing for onward connections to London (at 9am on flight MH4) or a host of other destinations across Asia.

Out of Kuala Lumpur on the return leg, MH135 takes to the skies at 9.50am to reach Brisbane at 7.50pm.

The airline hopes to upgrade its Brisbane service to a daily flight once demand picks up.

In Brisbane, business class passengers will have access to the recently-revamped Qantas business class lounge, as will Gold- and Platinum-grade frequent flyers on the same flights, including Qantas and Enrich Gold/Platinum members.

AusBT review: Qantas international business class lounge, Brisbane Airport

Other travellers stuck in economy who are also American Express Platinum Charge Card holders or Priority Pass members may instead visit Brisbane Airport's Plaza Premium Lounge.

AusBT review: Plaza Premium Lounge, Brisbane Airport

Through Malaysia Airlines’ membership in the global Oneworld alliance, Qantas Frequent Flyer members will be able to book these flights using Qantas Points (subject to availability), and can earn frequent flyer points and status credits when travelling on eligible Malaysia Airlines fares.

That said, the earn rates on this route are rather paltry: many economy fares earn nothing at all; higher-priced flexible fares earn at Qantas Frequent Flyer’s ‘discount economy’ rate, and business class fares accrue points and status in line with ‘flexible economy’, not ‘business class’.

For example, a paid business class ticket will deliver a mere 4,000 Qantas Points and 30 status credits each way, while the higher-end economy fares offer just 1,000 Qantas Points and 15 status credits in each direction.

By comparison, you’d earn more status credits on a one-hour Qantas business class flight from Brisbane to Sydney than flying Malaysia Airlines business class to KL; and likewise with a Qantas flexible economy ticket to Sydney versus the MH equivalent to Malaysia, on a flight considerably longer.

Since its departure in August 2015, Brisbane has been without any non-stop flights to Kuala Lumpur, with the closest option being a one-stop journey via Denpasar (Bali) aboard a Malindo Air Boeing 737, with domestic-style recliners in business class as opposed to flatbeds.

AusBT review: Malindo Air Boeing 737 business class, Brisbane-Bali-Kuala Lumpur

Chris Chamberlin
Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!
 

7 comments

  • Satoshi Takayama

    Michael Kao

    9 Jan, 2018 09:05 am

    It's about time!
    No member give thanks

  • Vas Srinivasan

    mspcooper

    9 Jan, 2018 11:51 am

    I wish there was some consistency on QF status credits within its own alliance based on distance travelled or $$$ equivalent. I understand if QF was flying a route like BNE-HKG and if you fly CX, you get half the status credits as compared to flying with QF. However, it does not make any sense on paltry status credits on sectors where QF does not even fly!
    Member who gave thanks

    stewardnurse

  • Graeme Whittell

    Labrador

    10 Jan, 2018 03:27 pm

    I think this is great. Air Asia were looking at this route last year, but didn’t go ahead. In fact they’re reducing their KUL-OOL capacity from the 1st of February, so makes commercial sense for MAS to return. Hope they can offer some competitive business fares.
    No member give thanks

  • Timmy22bc

    Timmy22bc

    10 Jan, 2018 05:28 pm

    Didn’t they pull the pin in Aug 2014 after 370/17? I might be wrong, but I don’t think it was as late as 2016.
    No member give thanks

  • ALDO vAN hEESWIJCK

    boris45

    10 Jan, 2018 06:58 pm

    Flew Singapore Air to KL via SIN from Brisbane in 2016. Both were business in A330 with a short stop (2 hours) in SIN. Very comfortable flights.
    No member give thanks

  • AeroSexual

    AeroSexual

    12 Jan, 2018 10:01 pm

    MH have struggled with BNE in the last 15 years that I can remember, starting and axing this route or piggybacking BNE to SYD flights or other combinations - and that was before having Air Asia and/or Malindo to compete with, even if Malindo is via DPS. I hope they can make this succeed finally - there's plenty of SIN options out of Australia but very few KUL, so this is a welcome add-on for choice.
    No member give thanks

  • Longreach

    Longreach

    11 Feb, 2018 04:05 pm

    Malaysia's decision to axe Brisbane flights, while retaining those to the smaller Perth and the very-much-smaller Adelaide to axe was short-sighted in the extreme.

    If you want to fly from BNE to KUL, you most definitely do not want to go to Bali, nor do you want to travel - drive/bus/train to Coolangatta to get a low-cost airline flight.


    No member give thanks

Guest

15 Dec, 2018 04:05 pm

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