aword from oneworld: July 2009

2009年7月06日

Finnair makes it easier for customers to book flights on all oneworld partners:  Finnair is the latest oneworld® member airline to enable customers to buy flights on all its oneworld partners through its own website as part of a major initiative by the alliance to make it easier to book journeys involving more than one of its member airlines.

American Airlines was the first to sell flights by all its oneworld partners through its own website.  Japan Airlines also already sold through its main Japanese website jal.co.jp flights operated by its oneworld partners in combination with its own services.

As one of the initiatives unveiled as part of the grouping's 10th birthday celebrations in February, oneworld committed to be the first alliance with all member airlines selling flights by all their partners via their own websites, with the complete roll-out across all carriers scheduled by the end of this year.  This responds to a clear preference among frequent flyers for on-line and self-service options.

oneworld Commercial Director Filip Lemmens said:  "One of the key benefits of airline alliances is that they make it easier for people to reach many more places around the world than any individual carrier serves.  Yet the rapid move towards internet sales in recent years has not built in that key alliance benefit. 

"oneworld is the first to be setting that right.  All oneworld carriers will in the future enable their customers to buy on-line through their own airline website flights to destinations not just served by their own airline but by their alliance partners too.  So travelling to any destination on the oneworld map will become a great deal easier."

No other global alliance sells flights operated by all its member airlines through the websites of all its member airlines.

In the first phase of Finnair's roll out, reservations via finnair.com can be made on flights operated by all other oneworld members and affiliates only in connection with a Finnair flight. Reservations on oneworld partners can at this stage only be made in combination with an intercontinental Finnair flight.  This expands the number of destinations Finnair offers on-line significantly and increases the potential number of city pairs available up to 160,000.

  • While all oneworld member airlines now operate aircraft decorated in a standard oneworld livery, Finnair has taken this approach one step further by decorating one of the buses it operates between Helsinki airport and the city centre in a special alliance colour scheme, featuring the tailfins of all the alliance's member airlines.  The airline uses the buses from time to time to communicate special marketing messages - and felt the alliance was the appropriate thing to highlight as it marks its 10th birthday.  For a print quality picture, see www.oneworld.com/news

Iberia and Qantas are latest oneworld partners to code-share:  Iberia and Qantas are to launch code-sharing, becoming the 34th out of the 45 potential pairings of oneworld partners to work together in this way.  The development comes as Qantas also expands code-sharing with American Airlines, further expanding its reach across the USA.  The alliance's Australian and Spanish partners will start placing their prefices on one another's flights from 15 July, smoothing travel between their home countries.   Initially, the IB designator will be added to services operated by Qantas between Sydney and both London Heathrow and Frankfurt, while the QF code will be carried by Iberia flights between Madrid and both London Heathrow and Frankfurt.

Malév joins third city in Ukraine to oneworld network:  A third city in Ukraine joins the oneworld network from today, with Malév Hungarian Airlines launching flights between its Budapest hub and Uzhhorod.  It will serve the airport - which has the three-letter IATA code   UDJ - with two Embraer regional jets a week. Ukraine's Kiev and Odessa are already served by oneworld airlines.

American Eagle joins three more destinations in USA to oneworld network:  Three new destinations in the USA have been joined to the oneworld network by American Eagle, the regional affiliate of American Airlines, with flights to and from its Dallas/Fort Worth hub:

  • Brownsville, Texas (which has the IATA three-letter code BRO), right on the Mexican border and less than half an hour away from two beautiful Gulf of Mexico beaches, which is now served by American Eagle three times a day.
  • Lake Charles, Louisiana (LCH), host to more than 75 festivals a year, served twice daily.
  • Montgomery, Alabama (MGM), the state capital, and steeped in history from the Civil War to Civil Rights, also served twice daily.

Japan's newest airport Mount Fuji joins oneworld network:  Japan's newest airport, Mount Fuji/Shizuoka has now opened - and joined the oneworld network.   The new gateway is served by Japan Airlines.

Dragonair to open flights to Guangzhou:  oneworld affiliate Dragonair is to launch flights between its Hong Kong hub and Guangzhou from 14 September, joining Japan Airlines in serving the provincial capital of Guangdong and the biggest city in the fast-growing Pearl River Delta region.  Dragonair will offer to double daily Airbus A320 family types on the route.

Qantas adds more Queenstown routes:  Qantas is to launch flights to Queenstown from both Brisbane and Melbourne from this weekend until the end of the ski season in mid September.   It already served the New Zealand destination seasonally from Sydney.

BA sets September launch for London City-New York JFK all-business flights:  British Airways has confirmed that its new all-business flights between London City and New York JFK will start from 29 September.   They will operate daily initially, other than Saturdays when the UK airport is closed, increasing to twice-daily from October, using the flight codes reserved for BA's supersonic Concorde operations until they were suspended in 2003 - BA001, 002, 003 and 004.

The Airbus A318s that will operate them will offer just 32 seats, which all convert to fully flat beds.  It will be the first transatlantic flights by any UK airline to enable passengers to access the web in-flight.  Minimum check-in time is just 15 minutes before departure.  On the way to the USA, the service will make a technical halt at Shannon, to refuel and to enable passengers to clear US customs and immigration.  The return flight will be non-stop.

The flights will be the first longhaul services to operate from London City, which is the closest airport to the UK capital's business centre.

Finnair and oneworld partners to consolidate at Helsinki Terminal 2:  All operations by Finnair and its oneworld partners at its Helsinki hub are to consolidate in one area of the airport from 5 August, including the airline's domestic services, following the opening next month of the extension to the passenger terminal's area for longhaul and non-Schengen services.

All Finnair, Finncomm and oneworld airline operations will be concentrated at Terminal 2. This will mean that all Finnair traffic from domestic to longhaul will operate from one and the same terminal. Terminal 1, currently the domestic terminal, will be used by other airlines.

At the same time, the airport will open a new security screening area for transit passengers, which will include fast-track channels for premium customers and those with short connection times.  The building extension also includes new shops and restaurants.

Work is also about to start on a new railway loop linking the airport with central Helsinki.

JAL moves Paris CDG terminals:  Japan Airlines has now moved locations at Paris CDG, switching from Terminal 2F to Terminal 2E.  British Airways also moved at CDG earlier this year, from Terminal 2B to Terminal 2A, which was already used by American Airlines and Cathay Pacific. Royal Jordanian remains in Terminal 2B, with the only other alliance members serving the airport, Finnair and Malév Hungarian Airlines, using the Schengen-equipped Terminal 2D.

Qantas launches on-line check-in and charges extra to book exit row seats:   Qantas is the latest oneworld member airline to enable its passengers to check-in on-line via its website for all flights.  On-line check-in is available from 24 to two hours before departure.  Members of its Qantas Frequent Flyer loyalty programme can also select their seat on-line for international flights, from the time their booking is first make.

Economy customers seeking extra legroom can also now purchase exit row seats for international flights operated by wide-bodied aircraft, a week to a day before departure.   The facility is available via the airline's telesales centers initially before going on-line later this year, for A$160 (US$127) or 20,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer points for longhaul segments, of A$80 (US$64) or 10,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer points for shorter sectors. 

  • For details, see http://www.qantas.com.au/info/bookings/exit-row-seats.

American completes up-grade to its Sao Paulo Admirals Club lounge:  American Airlines has completed extensive renovations to its Admirals Club at Sao Paulo.   The facility is now around 20 per cent bigger, with seating for more than 220 visitors.  It features an upgraded, multi-functional business centre, flat panel TVs, self-serve complimentary food and beverage selections, and a children's room.  It also features showers.

About oneworld:  oneworld brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business - American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN, Malév Hungarian Airlines, Qantas and Royal Jordanian, and around 20 affiliates including American Eagle, Dragonair, LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador and LAN Peru.  Mexicana and its affiliate Click Mexicana will join the alliance in 2009 and Russia's S7 Airlines in 2010.  Between them, these airlines:

  • Serve almost 750 airports in nearly 150 countries, with some 8,500 daily departures.
  • Offer nearly 550 airport lounges for premium customers.
  • Carry some 330 million passengers a year.
  • Employ 300,000 people.
  • Operate almost 2,500 aircraft.
  • Generate some US$100 billion annual revenues in total.

It is the only alliance with any airlines based in Australia, South America or Asia's Middle East.

The alliance enables its members to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own.  These include a broader route network, opportunities to earn and redeem frequent flyer miles and points across the combined oneworld network and more airport lounges.   oneworld also offers more alliance fares than any of its competitors.

oneworld was voted the World's Leading Airline Alliance for the sixth year running in the latest (2008) World Travel Awards.   It is the only winner of this award since it was introduced in 2003.