aword from oneworld: August 2006

21 August 2006

Passengers advised to check on latest carry-on baggage advice: Passengers flying to, from, within or via the UK and the USA and a number of other parts of the world are advised to check on the latest regulations on what they are permitted to take on their flight as carry-on baggage. Full details are posted on individual airline websites.

Three more destinations join oneworld network: Three more destinations - two in Australia and one in West Africa - are lining up to join the network served by the oneworld® alliance.

The two new Australian points are both in Queensland - Hervey Bay, gateway to the World Heritage listed Fraser Island, which affiliate QantasLink will link with Brisbane 32 times a week, and Biloela, which provides access to access to a number of mining projects in the centre of the state, which QantasLink will serve from Brisbane four flights a day. Both new routes will be launched from 29 October. oneworld is the only global alliance with a full network in Australia, served by founder member Qantas and its QantasLink regional affiliate.

The day after these two new points are brought on-line, affiliate BMED, which flies as a franchisee of British Airways, will inaugurate service to Sierra Leone's Freetown. It will serve the West African city with three Airbus A321s a week to and from London Heathrow. BMED will serve it in conjunction with Dakar, in Senegal, which is already on the oneworld map through Iberia.

All ten of the world's fastest growing longhaul routes serve oneworld hubs: All ten of the world's fastest growing longhaul air routes serve oneworld hubs. The intercontinental aviation markets with the biggest growth in demand worldwide have been identified by air information company Ascend, which calculated the growth in available seats between all city pairs in the past decade.

Topping the survey were links serving oneworld hubs London, Chicago, Hong Kong, Sydney, Singapore, Melbourne, Brisbane and New York:

1 London-Dubai, which has seen capacity increase by 848 270 seats in ten years to 2006.

2 London-Chicago, up 552 691 seats.

3 London-Hong Kong, up 481 675.

4 Melbourne-Singapore, up 470 023.

5 Sydney-Singapore, up 441 954.

6 London-Singapore, up 407 773.

7 London-Mumbai, up 390 940.

8 Dubai-Singapore, up 370 630.

9 London-New York, up 369 885.

10Brisbane-Singapore, up 308 952.

American unveils its Next Generation Business Class: American Airlines has unveiled its Next Generation Business Class, offering more comfort, flexibility and privacy, including fully flat seats, a portable in-flight entertainment device with video and audio on demand, and new larger overhead bins. It will be installed on all the airline's Boeing 767-300s by the middle of next year, when it will then be fitted also to its Boeing 777s. At the same time, the airline's First Class Flagship Suite will be extended to all 777s that do not currently offer it.

To maximize individual flexibility, the new Business Class enables each passenger to select the position of his or her back rest, seat bottom and leg rest - complete with a memory setting. In the upright position, they feature two interlocking tray tables, providing a choice of surface areas. When fully flat, they provide a bed length of 77 ins, and their armrests drop down to maximize the width available. To aid a good night's rest, passengers will be provided with their own duvet.

The seats are unique, in that they can move forward in the upright position, enabling passengers to offset themselves from their fellow travelers for added privacy and comfort.

The new portable entertainment devices come complete with a 10,6 ins monitor. Passengers can view it hands-free in the seat back or wherever they prefer in their seat area. It offers up to 14 feature films, 10 hours of pre-loaded television and news programs, 50 music CDs, 15 music videos and a variety of games, in five choices of languages.

Carriers serving Bangkok prepare to move to new airport in late September: oneworld's member airlines serving Bangkok, along with all other operators at the city, will transfer operations from Don Muang to the new Suvarnabhumi airport in late next month. British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair and Qantas serve the airport, along with members elect Japan Airlines, Malév and Royal Jordanian. They will be co-located in the new airport, which will open for operations on 28 September.

BA to launch third route between oneworld hubs London and Madrid: British Airways is to launch a third route between its London home base and the Madrid hub of oneworld partner Iberia, with its BA Connect regional affiliate inaugurating flights between London City, close to the UK capital's financial centre, and Barajas. It will offer two flights a day on the route from late October, offering its Club Europe business cabin and Euro Traveller economy. BA mainline already serves Madrid from London Heathrow and Gatwick.

BA Connect, a oneworld affiliate, is also increasing services between Manchester and Milan from two to three flights a day, and adding an additional daily frequency between London Gatwick and Isle of Man, giving four on weekdays and three at weekends. It is, however, suspending services to Isle of Man from London Luton and between Birmingham and Belfast.


Finnair to up-grade links between its Helsinki home and Madrid hub to non-stop: Finnair is upgrading services between its Helsinki home and the Madrid hub of oneworld partner Iberia to non-stop from late October. They currently operate via Stockholm. It is also scrapping its stop at the Swedish capital on its Manchester route. The Nordic carrier will retime its Barcelona-Helsinki flights at the same time to provide smoother connections to and from its Asian routes.

  • Finnair is also to resume services to Lisbon from 29 March, with Airbus A320s flying non-stop to and from its Helsinki hub an initial three times a week. The Portuguese capital is already served by oneworld through Aer Lingus, British Airways and Iberia. The following month, Finnair will join oneworld partners British Airways and member elect Malév in serving Bucharest. It will link its Helsinki hub with the Romanian capital with four Embraer regional jets a week from April.

Qantas to increase frequencies to future oneworld hub Tokyo Narita: Qantas is to increase capacity between its Sydney hub and the Tokyo Narita base of oneworld member elect Japan Airlines from 2 October, with frequencies on the route increased from seven to 11 a week, with Airbus A330-300s replacing the existing Boeing 747-300s. Japan Airlines will become part of the alliance from early next year, along with fellow recruits Malév and Royal Jordanian.

Aer Lingus to start charging for check-in baggage on shorthaul routes: Aer Lingus is to start charging passengers for checking in baggage on shorthaul flights from 17 January, just ahead of its departure from oneworld.

The new charge will apply to flights from then and booked from 8 August. Each bag will cost EUR4 if booked in advance by the airline's website, or EUR8 at the airport. Changes are also being made to its longhaul baggage policy, with passengers flying on its intercontinental routes able to check-in up to 36 kgs of baggage without charge from 5 September.

The Irish airline is leaving oneworld as its low-fare point-to-point strategy is no longer convergent with oneworld's focus on multi-sector, premium, frequent international passengers. Its withdrawal from the alliance will take place as Japan Airlines, Malév and Royal Jordanian join in oneworld's biggest expansion to date.

oneworld in brief: oneworld brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business - American Airlines, British Airways, Qantas, Iberia, Cathay Pacific, LAN, Finnair and Aer Lingus, plus their dozen affiliates. Japan Airlines, Malév and Royal Jordanian will join them early next year.

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 is the only alliance to enable passengers to fly throughout its network, on any combination of carriers, using just electronic tickets.

oneworld was voted the world's best airline alliance by readers of Business Traveller magazine for the second year running in its 2005 poll and the World's Leading Airline Alliance for the third year running in the latest World Travel Awards, based on votes cast by80,000 travel agency professionalsfrom more than 200 countries. It is also the only alliance whose members reported collective profits in their latest full year.

Note: LAN affiliates LAN Ecuador and LAN Argentina are not members of oneworld.