Malaysia Airlines brings back Brisbane-Kuala Lumpur flights

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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.

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.

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.

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