aword from oneworld: February 2005

25 February 2005

oneworld's route network grows 5 per cent to 602 airports: The route network served by the oneworldTM alliance has grown by 5 per cent in the past year, with more than 30 destinations added to the alliance's map or coming on line soon, taking the number of airports the group serves to 602 in 136 territories.

Five airports have been added in the USA and four in Peru. In the States, AA is now serving Anchorage (Alaska), Bakersfield (California), Lexington (Kentucky), Pensacola (Florida) and Savannah (Georgia), while in Peru, LAN has launched services to Iquitos, Piura, Tacna and Tarapoto.

Other new additions in Latin America include Argentina's Salta, on a seasonal basis, and Ushuaia, and Chile's Pucon, also on a seasonal basis, served now by LAN, while, in Mexico, American Eagle has inaugurated services to San Luis Potosi and Torreon, with Chihuahua to follow from 1 May.

Twelve airports have been added in Europe. British Airways and its affilites have opened flights to Croatia's Dubrovnik, France's Bastia, Georgia's Tbilisi, Greece's Heraklion, Italy's Bari, Cagliari and Catania and Russia's Yekaterinburg. Other oneworld carriers have added Norway's Bergen (Iberia), Russia's Murmansk (Finnair), Spain's Albacete (Iberia) and Germany's Berlin Schonefeld (Aer Lingus). Another three European points are to follow - Croatia's Split and Greece's Salonika, both to be served by BA from April, and Estonia's Kuresaare, by Finnair from 19 May.

In Asia, BA will also add Bangalore (India) to the alliance's network later this year, while Cathay Pacific will inaugurate oneworld flights to Xiamen (China) from the end of this month and Finnair will start services to Guangzhou, also in China, From September.

Elsewhere in the world, other additions include Canada's Halifax (AA), Morocco's Fez (BA) and New Zealand's Rotorua (Qantas).

American to launch Shanghai service next year: American Airlines is set to be the fourth oneworld partner to serve Shanghai. It will launch non-stops between the Chinese commercial centre and its Chicago O'Hare hub from 2 April 2006, subject to final government approval.

oneworld partner Finnair already serves Shanghai from its Helsinki home, with Qantas joining it there in December 2004, with three Airbus A330-300s a week to and from its Sydney base. British Airways will start services to the Chinese city from its London Heathrow hub in the next few months, with five Boeing 777s a week. Cathay Pacific is also seeking rights to serve the city, while the Hong Kong carrier started serving it with daily freighters from the end of January.

Shanghai will become the 21st international destination served by American from ORD, where it and its American Eagle regional affiliate currently operate a total of more than 510 daily flights to more than 110 destinations.

AA to increase departures from main DFW hub by 119 departures a day: American Airlines and its American Eagle regional affiliate are adding more flights at their main Dallas/Fort Worth hub. They already announced in September that they would offer 70 more departures a day from DFW from late March. Now, they have increased that by a further 49 services a day. Of the combined 119 extra operations, 45 will be flown by the mainline carrier and the other 74 by its regional affiliate. It will take their total daily departures from DFW in July to 839. The extra mainline departures will be on 61 established routes. AA said the latest increase responded to "a steading increase in demand".

More frequencies and facilities to Vancouver: British Airways is adding three frequencies to Vancouver, giving a total of ten Boeing 747-400 services a week to and from its London Heathrow hub from May to September. News of the increase came as the destination became the airline's latest to enable passengers to print their own boarding passes from their homes or offices, via Also, its lounge at the airport is now the airline's first in Canada to offer wireless internet connection.

Meantime, Cathay Pacific has opened a new lounge at Vancouver, which is claims "raises the bar on standards of style and comfort in North America". It is the first airport on the continent to benefit from the airline's new-style lounges, reflecting the theme of its award-winning The Wing and The Pier facilities at its Hong Kong hub. At 500 square metres, it is twice the size of the facility it replaces and one of the largest at Vancouver. With facilities for First and Business Class passengers, it offers panoramic views over the airport's runway and aprons. Cathay links Vancouver twice daily with Hong Kong and daily with New York JFK.

American Eagle to provide Nashville skyline to Washington National: American Eagle, the oneworld and American Airlines regional affiliate, is to launch services between Nashville and Washington National from 1 May, with three non-stops a day, using 37-seat Embraer regional jets.

BA upgrades Club World to help passengers sleep even better: British Airways is upgrading the flat beds in its Club World longhaul business cabins as part of an overall package of improvements designed to help customers sleep even better in-flight. The seat beds will incorporate "the latest cushioning technology", similar to that used in the newest premium household mattresses, to provide more comfort and ergonomic support. BA says this will be the first time this cushioning has been used in any airlines' seats. It will also provide larger pillows and higher quality, thicker blankets. Seat covers are being replaced with material in dark blue, and crockery and table linen given a new look.

Qantas and BA open new joint business lounge at Singapore: British Airways and Qantas have opened a new joint business lounge at Singapore. The US$7 million up-grade provides a facility three times bigger than the one it replaces, with seating increased from 233 to 400. New facilities include six fully equipped private work stations, 12 high speed internet PCs, printing, photocopying, phone and fax services. Twenty private shower suites and new luxury bathroom facilities have also been added. Other improvements include a new buffet and self-serve bar, a stylish new 18 metre long cocktail bar and a TV/entertainment zone.

AA guarantees its lowest fares will be on American Airlines has launched a price guarantee - promising customers that they will always find on its website that the absolute lowest fares for travel on American and its American Eagle and AmericanConnection regional affiliates. If any customer finds a lower AA fare for the identical itinerary on another travel website, it pledges to refund them the difference and give them a US$50 AA travel voucher.


Iberia moves next door at New York JFK: Iberia moves its operations at New York JFK into British Airways' Terminal 7, from American Airlines' Terminal 8, next door. The BA facility is also shared by Cathay Pacific and Qantas, while Finnair remains alongside AA in Terminal 8. The other two oneworld carriers serving JFK, Aer Lingus and LAN, use its International Arrivals Building, Terminal 4. Iberia serves JFK nine times a week from its own Madrid hub.

AA and LAN named best for Latin America: American airlines and LAN both emerged with honours in a survey by Latin Trade magazine to find the "Best of Latin America". AA was named best airline overall and best frequent flyer programme for the third year running, also taking the new title this year of best business class. LAN was judged to serve the best airline food for the third year running, and its Neruda lounge at Santiago selected as Latin America's best airport lounge for the second year time. The results are based on the views of more than 100 000 executives from across the region.

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 - enabling them 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. Together, its members serve 602 destinations in 136 countries. oneworld was voted the world's best airline alliance by readers of Business Traveller magazine in its 2004 poll and the World's Leading Airline Alliance for the second year running in the latest World Travel Awards, based on votes cast by80,000 travel agency professionalsfrom more than 200 countries. Note: LAN affiliate LAN ECUADOR is not a member of oneworld.