aword from oneworld: June 2002

28 June 2002

QANTAS TO FIT FLAT BEDS IN US$166 MILLION BUSINESS UP-GRADE: Qantas is to invest A$300 million (US$166 million) in improvements to its international Business Class, including installing new seats that convert to beds, with a length of 6 ft 6 ins and a width of 25 ins, "cocooned" to provide maximum privacy and noise reduction. They will each feature a PC power outlet that will allow laptops to be plugged straight in without the need for adaptor cables, plus a large 10,4 ins screen offering multi-channel entertainment with noise cancellation headsets. The cabin will feature a lighting system designed exclusively for Qantas, a self-service bar area and new-style catering to provide more choice and flexibility. oneworld™ partners British Airways and Cathay Pacific offer seats that convert to beds in their longhaul business cabins.

IBERIA OFFERS MADRID CITY CENTRE CHECK-IN: Iberia passengers flying from Madrid can now check-in for their flights at a new city centre facility at the Nuevos Ministerios underground station, handing over their baggage and obtaining their boarding cards before taking the new subway link to the airport. With the train taking just 12 minutes to reach the airport and departures every six to eight minutes, minimum check-in times are two hours before a flight for passengers with baggage to check-in, and one hour ahead for those with hand baggage only. The new facility is now open every day from 6,30 am to 10,30 pm.

BURLINGTON BACK ON-LINE AS oneworld's 572ND DESTINATION: Burlington, Vermont, has rejoined the global network served by oneworld, becoming the 572nd destination on the network served by the alliance. Affiliate American Eagle resumed services to the city with two Embraer RJ flights a day to and from Chicago O'Hare, where connections are offered to oneworld carriers operating at the hub. The regional airline has also started flying its longest route, between its Dallas/Fort Worth hub and Boise, which also brings the Idaho city onto the oneworld map. Eagle has also launched seven daily flights between Dallas/Fort Worth and Midland/Odessa.

QANTAS OPENS SOUTH HEMISPERE'S BIGGEST INTERNATIONAL LOUNGE: Qantas has opened the largest international airport lounge in the southern hemisphere– its flagship Qantas Club lounge at Sydney's International Terminal. Twice the size of the facility it replaces, Qantas says it set a new world standard for First and Business Class passengers, top-tier oneworld frequent flyers and Qantas Club members. It features seating for 150 First Class and 500 Business Class customers in separate lounge areas, individual consoles with telephone, power and data connections making almost every armchair a comfortable workplace or simply a place to relax, a separate fully equipped business centre, seven self-service bars and buffets and 15 shower rooms.

727 MAKES FINAL FLIGHT WITH AMERICAN: American Airlines has operated its final Boeing 727 passenger flight. American operated the biggest 727 fleet, at one time flying 182 of the trijets, with the first flown in 1964.

AFFILIATE GB AIRWAYS STARTS ALMERIA SERVICE: Affiliate GB Airways, which flies as British Airways under its franchise agreement with the UK carrier, is to launch twice-weekly services to Almeria from London Gatwick, from 3 November.

CATHAY BUILDS BACK NORTH AMERICAN SERVICES: Cathay Pacific will reinstate its double-daily, non-stop Boeing 747-400 service between Hong Kong and Los Angeles on 1 August, after increasing the current daily flights to ten a week from 1 June, and increase frequencies between Hong Kong and Vancouver from 11 to 14 a week from 1 July, with Boeing 747-400s replacing smaller Airbus A340-300s on its San Francisco flights at the same time.

QANTAS GOES ON HOLIDAY: Qantas will launch non-stop flights between Melbourne and Hamilton Island on from 12 July using Boeing 737s, and add capacity to the Whitsunday Islands centre from Sydney and Brisbane. It's also adding links between Sydney and Melbourne to five popular Queensland holiday centres - Mackay, Maroochydore, Proserpine, Rockhampton, and Townsville, on Boeing 717s.

IBERIA INCREASES JFK FLIGHTS: Iberia is adding another three flights a week between Madrid and New York JFK from 1 July in response to growing demand.

AMERICAN ADDS FIVE MORE CARIBBEAN ROUTES: American Airlines has launched services from New York JFK to Grand Cayman, and to Santiago and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. Santiago is also served from Miami. And American has restored seasonal service between Boston and Santo Domingo and launched service to Port-au-Prince, Haiti,and to Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, all effective June 15. In addition, in Central America, AA began flying from its main Dallas/Fort Worth hub to Guatamala City on 15 June and is adding a second daily, non-stop flight from Miami to Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on 2 July. In South America, American added service from Miami to Medellin, Colombia, on 15 June.

IBERIA EXTENTS ETICKETS TO LONDON AND THREE OTHER ROUTES: Iberia has extended the use of eTickets to its London, Amsterdam, Milan and Rome routes. They were already in use on flights from Spain to Germany, Belgium, and Portugal, and throughout the airline's domestic network, other than on its "walk-on" Madrid-Barcelona shuttle service.

AFFILIATE BMED INCREASES SERVICES TO NEAR EAST: British Airways flights to Lebanon, Jordan and Iran – operated by its franchise partner and oneworld affiliate British Mediterranean - are being increased from 13 June in response to growing customer demand, with an eighth weekly frequency to Beirut and a fourth to Tehran and increased capacity to Amman.

IBERIA LAUNCHES SELF-SERVICE CHECK-IN AT NINE SPANISH AIRPORTS: Passengers flying on Iberia without hold baggage can now speed up their check-in process by using self-service automated kiosks at nine Spanish airports. The service can be used for any destination where no passport or immigration documents are required. The machines "speak" Spanish, Catalan, Galician, Basque, English and French. Besides Madrid, the kiosks are available at Barcelona, Malaga, Palma de Majorca, Santiago de Compostela, Valencia, La Coruña, Vigo and shortly in Bilbao. They will be installed at other Iberia airports soon.

AA STARTS CODE-SHARING WITH SWISS: American Airlines has started code-sharing with aspiring oneworld member Swiss. The European carrier has been asked to reach bilateral agreements with other members of the alliance before it can be formally invited on board oneworld.

IBERIA LINKS UP WITH TAP AIR PORTUGAL: Iberia this month started code-sharing and other forms of co-operation with TAP Air Portugal. A total of 160 flights a day, serving 21 destinations, mostly in Europe, are covered initially in their code-sharing pact. On the route between the capitals of their home countries, Madrid and Lisbon, this will mean a combined ten services a day.

FINNAIR TO CODE-SHARE WITH SN BRUSSELS: Finnair has signed a bilateral alliance with SN Brussels Airlines, Sabena's successor, covering code-sharing on one another's services. All flights operated by both airlines between their Helsinki and Brussels hubs have been carrying both the AY and SN flight codes since 4 June, giving combined frequencies of five each weekday.

DEUTSCHE BA'S oneworld LINKS END: Deutsche BA withdrew from oneworld on 1 June as part of its strategic shift to focus on German domestic flights only, ahead of its proposed sale. Any oneworld Explorer and Visit Passes bookings made before 31 May 2002 including sectors on the affiliate will be honoured. Members of the oneworld member airlines' frequent flyer programmes have not been able to earn miles or points by flying on Deutsche BA from 1 June 2002, or access lounges, through oneworld links, when flying with the airline from then, unless their airline has made any arrangements to do so bilaterally. Bookings for travel on Deutsche BA before 31 December 2002 made by members of the frequent flyer schemes before 31 May 2002 using awards will be honoured. All the airports on its network are also served by other oneworld member airlines.