aword from oneworld: March 2009

25 March 2009

oneworld adds Ecuador domestic network and dozen destinations worldwide:  Twelve new destinations in Africa, the Americas and Europe - along with a new domestic network in Ecuador - join the oneworld® network in the new flying season, which starts on Sunday (29 March).

oneworld affiliate member LAN Ecuador launches its new domestic schedule next month.  Initially it will connect the capital Quito with Guayaquil and later link both cities with Cuenca (which has the three-letter IATA code CUE) and Galapagos (SCY), both of which will join the oneworld map for the first time. It will operate latest generation Airbus A320 family aircraft on all routes.

This new domestic network will complement LAN Ecuador's international services to and from Ecuador, which include flights from both Guayaquil and Quito to places such as Buenos Aires, Madrid, Miami, New York and Santiago.

Also in South America, LAN Ecuador's sister airline LAN Peru is to add Cartagena de Indias (CTG), on Colombia's Caribbean coast, to the alliance's network from 29 April, with two Airbus A319s a week from its Lima hub.

Six new destinations in the USA are being brought on-line to oneworld by affiliate American Eagle, the regional carrier of American Airlines:

  • Brownsville, Texas (BRO), right on the Mexican border, from 11 June with three flights a day.
  • Charleston, West Virginia, (CRW) from 7 April with an initial six round trips a week.
  • Lake Charles, Louisiana, (LCH) twice-daily from 11 June.
  • Manhattan, Kansas (MHK), from 25 August.
  • Montgomery, Alabama (MGM), the state capital, and steeped in history from the Civil War to Civil Rights, twice-daily from 11 June.
  • Santa Fe, the New Mexico capital, (SAF) daily from 11 June.

All will be served from American Eagle's Dallas/Fort Worth base, apart from Charleston, which will be linked with New York LaGuardia.

In North Africa and Europe, the alliance will add:

  • Benghazi (BEN), as its second city in Libya from 1 June when Royal Jordanian opens service there from its Amman base with an initial two flights a week.
  • Bergen (BGO), as its third destination in Norway, with Finnair flying there from its Helsinki home from 22 May, with five flights a week.
  • Iasi (IAS) as its the fifth destination in Romania, with Malév Hungarian Airlines launching five flights a week from its Budapest hub from this weekend, building to six from June.

oneworld's airlines serve almost 700 destinations in nearly 150 countries.  It is the only global alliance with any members based in South America, through LAN Ecuador, LAN Airlines, LAN Argentina and LAN Peru, and the only global alliance with any members in Australia and Asia's Middle East.

BA to resume services to Saudi Arabia:  British Airways is to resume flights to Saudi Arabia, with five services a week from its London Heathrow hub to both Jeddah and Riyadh from 31 May.  It will serve Riyadh with Boeing 777s, and Jeddah with 767s.  BA suspended operations to Saudi Arabia in March 2005 because of the poor commercial performance of its flights, but the country has remained on the oneworld network through flights by other member airlines.  Royal Jordanian serves both Jeddah and Riyadh along with Dammam with Riyadh also receiving Cathay Pacific flights.

Iberia to add Zagreb to its network:  Iberia is to add Zagreb to its network with twice-weekly seasonal flights from its Madrid hub between 4 July and 20 September.  The capital of Croatia is already on the oneworld map through a connection by Malév Hungarian Airlines with its Budapest hub. 

Malév to serve St Petersburg:  Malév Hungarian Airlines is to add St Petersburg to its network from next month.  It will become the fourth oneworld member to serve the Russian city, alongside British Airways, Finnair and Iberia.  It will fly there twice a week from 22 April to 21 October.  Malév is upping also frequencies on a range of key routes from its Budapest base from this Sunday, adding:

  • A second daily rotation to both Rome and Hamburg.
  • Six round trips a week to Zagreb giving a total of 20 a week.
  • Three more weeklies to Thessaloniki and Tirana, giving a total of 13 a week.

RJ sprouts to Brussels:  Royal Jordanian will inaugurate its first service between Amman and the Belgian capital, Brussels, next Wednesday (1 April) with two Airbus A319s a week. 

Finnair becomes fifth oneworld airline to serve Istanbul:  Finnair has become the fifth oneworld member airline to serve Istanbul, with the launch of non-stops between the Turkish city and the airline's Helsinki home.  The airline is serving the route with four, two-class Airbus A319s a week.  Istanbul is already served by oneworld partners British Airways, Iberia, Malév Hungarian Airlines and Royal Jordanian.

  • Finnair is to increase frequencies between its Helsinki home and oneworld hubs New York JFK and Tokyo Narita during the summer peak. It will add another three flights a week to the Big Apple, giving a total of ten weekly round trips on the route from June to September. The new services will be timed for the first time to connect with the airline's extensive Asian network. It will also add another three flights a week to Tokyo, taking its schedule to daily.

More moves at London Heathrow in biggest airport co-location project:  oneworld's biggest airport co-location project to date has moved a significant step forward towards completion, easing transfers between flights operated by the alliance's carriers at its biggest European hub.

Finnair and Iberia have now moved their operations at London Heathrow to Terminal 3, along with the few British Airways European flights not already operating from its new Terminal 5 home - those serving Barcelona, Madrid, Helsinki, Lisbon and Nice.

At Terminal 3, they are now operating alongside their alliance partners American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and Royal Jordanian which have long been based there. 

All Qantas operations and BA flights serving Singapore and Australia follow into Terminal 3 later this year.  This will bring all the alliance's on-line carriers from across all five of London Heathrow's passengers terminals into just two - Terminal 3 and Terminal 5, where the rest of BA's flights are now based.

Terminal 3 nearing the end of a massive GBP1 billion (US$1.5 billion) improvement programme to bring it up to standards similar to the Terminal 5, so all oneworld airlines at Heathrow can offer their customers a state-of-the-art passenger experience whether they are flying to or from London, or transferring there between oneworld airline flights.

  • BA's flights between London Heathrow and Malaga and Vienna will operate from the UK airport's Terminal 3 from 29 March, while its services to Atlanta, Nice and Toulouse will switch to Terminal 5.

BA switches terminals at Paris CDG:  British Airways has moved its operations at Paris CDG alongside those of its oneworld partners American Airlines and Cathay Pacific in Terminal 2A.  It leaves Royal Jordanian as the only other oneworld carrier using Terminal 2B.  Japan Airlines is based in Terminal 2F.  The only other alliance members serving the airport, Finnair and Malév Hungarian Airlines, use the Schengen-equipped Terminal 2D.

American to relocate alongside most oneworld partners at Shanghai Pudong:  American Airlines is to relocate its operations at Shanghai Pudong this Sunday (29 March), moving from Terminal 1 to the newer Terminal 2, where it will be alongside most of its oneworld partners, smoothing connections between their flights.

Its transfer will leave just one oneworld partner in Terminal 1, with Japan Airlines remaining there to facilitate smooth connections with China Eastern, with which it code-shares extensively.

In Terminal 2, American, which flies to the airport daily from Chicago O'Hare, will join all the other oneworld carriers serving the airport - British Airways, Cathay Pacific and its Dragonair sister, Finnair and Qantas, who all moved to Terminal 2 following its opening a year ago.   American will offer its premium passengers access to Dragonair and Cathay Pacific's lounge. 

BA offers more space in Club Europe:  British Airways is now offering passengers in its Club Europe (shorthaul Business Class) cabin more space by always leaving empty the middle seat in its rows of three - guaranteeing all passengers in this cabin a window or aisle seat.

JAL to offer its new Business and Premium Economy on more routes:  Japan Airlines is to offer its award-winning business class, the JAL Shell Flat Seat, on four more routes.  They will be launched on flights serving Mexico and Vancouver from 1 September, and Milan and Rome from November.  Also, the airline will be rolling out the latest in its in-flight seats, the JAL First Class Suite, the Executive Class JAL Shell Flat Neo and the JAL Premium Economy Class seats on the routes from Tokyo Narita to Chicago and Los Angeles by November 2009.

BA changes check-in baggage policy from 1 April:  British Airways is making changes to its check-in baggage policy with effect from 1 April, with a standard maximum dimension to be applied for all passengers worldwide and a set additional fee for larger items and some special items. 

The maximum dimensions for items to be checked in worldwide from 1 April without incurring additional charges will be 90 cm x 75 cm x 43 cm (35.5 ins x 29.5 ins x 16 ins).  Items bigger than that will incur an additional fee of GBP25 - but the airline will not accept any items larger than 240 cm x 75 cm x 65 cm (94.5 ins x 29.5 ins x 25.6 ins).  BA is also introducing a handling charge of GBP25 for firearms.  Maximum weight allowances are unaffected.

Royal Jordanian activates in-flight internet and mobile phone service:  Royal Jordanian has activated in-flight mobile phone and internet connections.  The service, provided in connection with supplier OnAir, is now available on one of the airline's Airbus A319s, flying on routes serving Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and India.

oneworld carriers take top honours at Amsterdam:  oneworld carriers have been presented have taken two of the three awards presented by Amsterdam's Schiphol to airlines serving the airport  for their "outstanding contribution to passenger transport over the past year".  Cathay Pacific received the airport's Passenger Airline Award, in recognition of its roll out of its new First Class product and "its consistent commitment over the years to high service quality, both on the ground and in the air".  Japan Airlines was honoured as the airport's most punctual longhaul carrier.

American to be first major to participate in Climate Leaders programme:  American Airlines is to participate in the Climate Leaders programme of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) "as part of its continued commitment to environmentally-responsible business practices".  American is the first major passenger airline to join the programme.

Climate Leaders is a collaboration of business and the EPA to develop comprehensive climate change strategies. Members commit to reducing their impact on the global environment by setting ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals to be achieved over the next five to 10 years and reporting their progress to the EPA annually.

American has committed to a 30 per cent reduction in greenhouse gasses by 2025 and will work closely with Climate Leaders to set a mid-range goal to help meet this long-range target.

Tell us what you'd like from us - and you could win round-the-world tickets:  Travellers are being invited to tell oneworld what services and benefits they would most like it to offer and their overall vision for the alliance in the decade ahead - for a chance to win a pair of Business Class tickets for travel all the way around the world on its airline members.  The invitation is being made to mark the 10th anniversary of oneworld's launch.  Every idea posted at will be reviewed by a jury of airline industry experts, with the author of the best idea winning the pair of round-the-world Business Class.  For full details, terms and conditions, see

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 later 2009.  Between them, these airlines:

  • Serve almost 700 airports in nearly 150 countries, with some 8,500 daily departures.
  • Offer some 550 airport lounges for premium customers.
  • Carry 330 million passengers a year, employ 300,000 people and operate almost 2,300 aircraft.
  • Generate US$100 billion annual revenues.

oneworld is the only alliance with any member 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 offers a wider range of 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.