Malaysia Airlines and French hihg speed rail company SNCF TGV have agreed to a codeshare on flights plus rail service which will allow those traveling to France to connect to 15 destinations beyond Paris. The concept is not foreign to airlines in Europe as many airlines partner with local rail companies to connect passengers beyond large cities and major airports. This is a common practice among airlines in Europe, and was even a common place for pre-merger Continental and Amtrak.
Passengers based in the French provinces and travelling on Malaysia Airlines can now enjoy this new train / flight bimodal service departing from 19 TGV train stations, including check-in from the start of the journey to the final destination thanks to the TGVAIR product.
The new service is available to Malaysia Airlines passengers from the following TGV train stations : Aix-en-Provence TGV, Angers-St-Laud, Avignon TGV, Bordeaux St Jean, Champagne-Ardenne TGV, Le Mans, Lille, Lorraine TGV, Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier, Nantes, Nîmes, Poitiers, Rennes, St-Pierre-des-Corps, Strasbourg, Toulon and Valence TGV.
When arriving to their departure SNCF TGV train station, Malaysia Airlines passengers can check-in to their final destination, including on their Malaysia Airlines connecting flight at CDG Airport. This way, they are already pre-checked in when arriving at CDG Airport.
This service offers numerous advantages to Malaysia Airlines passengers:
- Simplicity : No need to purchase their flight tickets and TGV train tickets separately. Passengers traveling from the provinces to Kuala Lumpur and beyond can use a single ticket for their journeys from their departure train station to CDG Airport TGV station, and from CDG Airport to Kuala Lumpur on Malaysia Airlines flights. Once in Kuala Lumpur, they can continue they journey to any destination in the airlines’ extensive network.
- Flexibility : The agreement between Malaysia Airlines and TGVAIR comprises 19 cities, covering the major part of the French territory. Regardless of the departure province, there is always a possibility of immediate boarding at a nearby train station.
- Serenity : Passengers buy a fare from start to finish, which means a single transport contract. If they miss their flight or their train because one or the other is delayed, they will be supported.
- Time saving : No need to book separately and coordinate both parts of the trip. The air / railway ticket is not only more practical, it is also easily modified if necessary.
- Better value : It is much easier and cheaper to choose the combined Malaysia Airlines / SNCF ticket than to purchase a flight ticket and train ticket separately.
I think this is a great move by Malaysia Airlines as the struggling airlines tries to rebuild its image and appeal to more travelers around the globe and specifically France. As MH tries to come back, it will now be able to connect passengers beyond Paris to Kuala Lumpur and Asia and vice versa, opening up many new markets in France that was once out of the Paris vicinity. As the airline is the only airline flying daily between Paris and Kuala Lumpur, the airlines has a lot of seats to fill on its daily superjumbo A380 jet and may be able to fill a few more with its new partnership.