American Airlines' Tom Horton elected oneworld Chairman

15 December 2011

The Governing Board of oneworld®, the premier global airline alliance, has elected American Airlines' Chairman, President and Chief Executive Tom Horton as its Chairman.

He takes on the role from Gerard Arpey, whom he succeeded at the helm of the alliance's US partner late last month following Mr Arpey's decision to retire from the carrier.

Tom Horton's nomination was made at the oneworld Governing Board's final meeting of the year, held in New York, where the alliance's headquarters has been based since June.

He will act as "first among equals" of the chief executives of the group's member airlines, leading oneworld as the alliance undergoes its biggest expansion in five years with the addition in 2012 of airberlin, Kingfisher Airlines and Malaysia Airlines.

oneworld CEO Bruce Ashby said: "Tom offered to hand over the baton as oneworld Chairman from American Airlines to one of our other airlines but the unanimous view was that the alliance would benefit greatly at this time from the continuity in our leadership that Tom represents - while at the same time underlining the commitment of oneworld to American while it undergoes its restructuring.

"We appreciate Tom agreeing to take on this role at this time.  He worked hand-in-glove in alliance matters with Gerard Arpey during Gerard's period of tenure as oneworld Chairman and has played a pivotal role in strengthening our alliance through the significant deepening of cooperation between American and so many of our other member airlines in recent years.

"We thank Gerard sincerely for his leadership of oneworld during the past three great years of progress for our group. We are fortunate to have in Tom a man with the vision, diplomacy, determination and overall capabilities to lead us forward on our journey to establish oneworld as the first choice alliance for frequent global travellers the world over."

About Tom Horton

Thomas W. Horton was named as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AMR and its American Airlines in November 2011. He was appointed President of AMR and American in July 2010. Previously, he served since 2006 as Executive Vice-President Finance and Planning and Chief Financial Officer of AMR and American, including holding responsibility for alliances, upon returning to American from AT&T Corp., where he had been Vice-Chairman and Chief Financial Officer.

Tom Horton initially joined AMR in 1985 and held a range of senior financial positions with AMR, including Vice-President and Controller. From 1998 to 2000, he was Vice-President responsible for the airline's Europe business, based in London.  In January 2000, he became Senior Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of AMR. 

In 2002, he joined AT&T, where he served first as Chief Financial Officer and then as Vice-Chairman and CFO, leading the evaluation of strategic alternatives, ultimately leading to the combination with SBC, which formed the new AT&T.

About oneworld

oneworld is the world's premier global airline alliance.  It 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, Royal Jordanian and S7 Airlines, and around 20 affiliates including American Eagle, Dragonair, LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador and LAN Peru.  airberlin, India's Kingfisher Airlines and Malaysia Airlines are on track to join in 2012.  Mexicana is an inactive member of the alliance.  Between them, these airlines:

  • Serve more than 850 airports in nearly 150 countries, with more than 10 000 daily departures.
  • Offer more than 550 airport lounges for premium customers.
  • Carry a million passengers a day on a combined fleet of more than 2 500 aircraft.
  • Generate more than US$ 100 billion annual revenues in total.

oneworld 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 named the Best Airline Alliance by Global Traveler in its GT Tested Reader Survey 2011 Awards for the second year running and the World's Leading Airline Alliance in the 2010 World Travel Awards, retaining that title for the eighth consecutive year.