aword from oneworld: February 2004

28 February 2004

CODE-SHARING EXPANDS TO MAKE IT EASIER TO REACH MORE PLACES: A further expansion of code-sharing has been announced between oneworld™ member airlines, making it easier for passengers to transfer between their networks to reach the 570 destinations in the 135 countries served by the world's leading international airline grouping.

In the latest phase of code-sharing between American Airlines and British Airways, the AA code has been placed on a range of BA flights from London Gatwick, complementing existing code-share connections via London Heathrow, and new destinations added from Heathrow. The BA flight prefix has been placed on flights by its US oneworld partner to another 26 destinations across the USA and to Latin America. These latest additions take the total number of airports added to the BA network through its AA links to 90. In the other direction, a total of 58 BA routes now also carry the AA code, serving 48 destinations beyond London.

British Airways has also extended code-sharing with Iberia. The Spanish oneworld carrier's flight prefix is now carried on BA services between its London Heathrow hub and Dubai, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. It is also now placed on services operated by BA franchisee and oneworld affiliate Comair between Johannesburg and Capetown, Durban and Port Elizabeth. In addition, flights by another BA franchisee, GB Airways, between London Gatwick and Fuerteventura, Ibiza and Murcia will also now be IB coded. In the other direction, the BA code will be placed in Iberia flights between Barcelona and Munich.

BA is also deepening links with oneworld member elect Swiss International Air Lines, which is on schedule to join the alliance in the middle of 2004. SWISS's LX code is now carried on the three daily flights operated by BA between London Gatwick and Geneva and services flown by its wholly-owned subsidiary BA CitiExpress between London City and both Geneva and Zurich. From the start of the airlines' winter schedules on 31 October, SWISS will withdraw its existing four daily services between Geneva and London Heathrow, while British Airways will increase its frequencies on the route from six to eight, with the LX code added to them all. This means customers will have a choice of 14 flights a day between Geneva and London's three airports.

Code-sharing is now in place between 20 of the potential 28 pairings of oneworld partners.

IBERIA TO INSTALL FLAT BEDS IN €100 MILLION UP-GRADE: Iberia is the latest oneworld carrier to install flat beds on its longhaul flights as part of a €100 million investment in a newly combined First/Business Intercontinental cabin. The new seat will recline to a completely flat position, 190 cm long and 66 cm wide, enclosed in a rigid structure. The interior design and upholstery of the cabin will be also be upgraded, including new blankets, pillows, and other accessories.

Each seat will be equipped with the most modern entertainment and communications systems, including satellite telephone service, and facilities for sending and receiving both e-mail and short cellphone messages. The in-flight entertainment system will feature seven video channels, offering first-run films and other on-demand programming, 12 audio channels and interactive games. The cabin will feature a snack bar where passengers can serve themselves drinks and snacks whenever they like.

Three Airbus A340s will be fitted with cabin by October. The rest of the 21 aircraft will be reconfigured by the end of 2005.

American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Qantas already offer flat beds.

BA AND IBERIA OFFER WiFi IN AIRPORT LOUNGES: British Airways and Iberia are to enable customers using many of their airport lounges to access the internet and emails from their laptop computers through the latest wireless technology. The UK carrier will offer WiFi in 80 of its main airport lounges around the world, starting with London Heathrow and Gatwick by the end of April. Iberia will roll out the service in its facilities at its Madrid and Barcelona hubs. These lounges are open to Emerald or Sapphire tier frequent flyer cardholders from all oneworld airlines when flying with the alliance.

QANTAS TO FLY BRISBANE-LOS ANGELES DIRECT: Qantas is to link Brisbane with Los Angeles with direct flights for the first time from 14 June, with an initial three Boeing 747-400 flights a week, in addition to its existing daily flights from between the Queensland gateway and the US West Coast oneworld hub, via Auckland. Domestically, Qantas has launched non-stop flights between Perth and Canberra, reducing travel times between the West Coast city and national capital by up to an hour.

AMERICAN ADDS MORE FLIGHTS FROM KEY HUBS: American Airlines continues to add flights to its schedule, with new routes and increased frequencies from most key hubs. Among the lastest additions:

  • From Chicago O'Hare it is resuming services to Glasgow (Scotland) from 1 May, adding a fifth daily frequency to London Heathrow, launching twice daily non-stops to Sacramento from 10 June, and recommencing summer services to Anchorage and Vancouver from 1 June.
  • From Dallas/Fort Worth, its regional affiliate American Eagle will launch daily non-stops to Santa Barbara (California) from 4 April.
  • From Los Angeles, it is also increasing London Heathrow frequencies, to double daily, from 4 April and starting daily non-stops to Tokyo Narita from 4 April.
  • From New York JFK, AA is now flying twice daily non-stop to Phoenix.

    BA CUSTOMERS CAN NOW REQUEST SEATS AND MEALS ON-LINE: Passengers flying with British Airways can now request seats and special meals through the airline's website. A new area of called "Manage my booking", also enables them to check in on-line within 24 hours of the flight departing and provides a range of other services.

    FINNAIR TO MAINTAIN MIAMI SERVICES..: Finnair will maintain its new Miami route next winter, the airline has announced. It had intended to fly to the Florida gateway this winter season only, but it has proved so popular that it will continue the operation next winter, too, with MD11s from 12 December to 31 March.

    ..AND OFFER PEARL RIVER LINKS FROM HONG KONG: Finnair and Cathay Pacific are both now offering passengers fast ferry connections to Hong Kong International Airport from four locations in the Pearl River Delta region - Macao and Guangdong Province's Shenzhen, Shekou and Humen, which all now have high-speed catamaran ferry links directly to the Hong Kong airport's SkyPier Terminal. Finnair operates from Hong Kong to its Helsinki hub, via Bangkok.

    IBERIA OPENS SPECIAL SERVICE CENTRES FOR PREMIUM CUSTOMERS: Iberia has opened special ticket sales and customer service desks for its premium customers - First and Business class passengers and holders of Iberia Plus Platinum and Iberia Plus Gold cards – at its Madrid and Barcelona hubs, at 11 cities across Spain and 28 other points around its worldwide network. Emerald and Sapphire tier frequent flyer cardholders from any other oneworld airline can also use the facilities.

    BUSINESS MAGAZINE HONOURS LANCHILE: LanChile has emerged with flying colours from a survey conducted by leading North American business magazine Latin Trade, in which it asked readers to help it identify the best travel companies in the region. oneworld's South American member was honoured as the airline offering the best in-flight catering with one of the best in-flight wine cellars.

    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, LanChile, Finnair and Aer Lingus, with Swiss International Air Lines joining in the middle of 2004 - enabling them to offer their customers more services and benefits than any of them 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. Together, its members serve more countries than any other alliance – 135 territories and more than 570 destinations - and oneworld offers more alliance fare products, serving more markets, than all its competitors together. Its members' 1 900 aircraft operate some 8 000 flights a day.