aword from oneworld: March 2004

01 April 2004

Eight more destinations join the oneworld network: Eight more destinations join the oneworld™ network in the new flying season, which took off on Sunday (28 March), expanding the alliance's lead as the most international airline grouping, with other new routes making it easier to reach more parts of the world.

British Airways is bringing on-line:

  • Croatia's Dubrovnik from Sunday, three times a week from London Gatwick.
  • Bari, in Italy, three times a week from today (30 March).
  • Bastia, on the French island of Corsica, from 2 May.
  • Cagliari, on the Italian island of Sardinia, Italy, also thrice weekly, from 1 May.
  • Catania, on the Italian island of Sicily, three times a week as well, from 2 May.

    Meanwhile, its franchisee British Mediterranean Airways, a oneworld affiliate, inaugurates services to Yekaterinburg in Russia three times a week from 10 May.

    In the Pacific, Rotorua will be brought on-line to oneworld from tomorrow (1 April), with Qantas linking the New Zealand North Island airport daily with Christchurch.

    In North America, American Eagle, the AA regional affiliate, is inaugurating service to Halifax, the capital of the Canadian province Nova Scotia, from 10 June with three Embraer regional jets a day to New York JFK.

    Meantime, the alliance's carriers are enhancing service to many established oneworld destinations with a series of new routes and additional frequencies.

    Aer Lingus is launching nine new routes from its Dublin hub: Bilbao and Valencia in oneworld partner Iberia's Spanish homeland; Bristol, in the UK; the Zurich hub of the alliance's member elect Swiss International Air Lines; together with Berlin, Lyon and Venice, all from late March. Added from the end of May will be Copenhagen, Dubrovnik and Warsaw.

    Finnair is resuming daily flights between Dublin and its own Helsinki hub.

    Iberia is launching services between its Madrid base and BA's North of England hub Manchester, bringing Lagos (Nigeria) onto its network as its 102nd destination, and increasing frequencies to many of its Latin American gateways and, in Europe, to Zurich (now four daily) and Berlin. Its regional affiliate Iberia Regional will introduce flights on Majorca-Nice, Oviedo-Paris, and Barcelona-Albacete.

    Qantas is improving links between its Australia home and the Hong Kong hub of oneworld partner Cathay Pacific with the launch of a link to and from Perth from this week with an initial three flights a week, and increased frequencies from both Brisbane and Melbourne. It is also linking Brisbane with Los Angeles direct for the first time from 14 June. Domestically, it is launching weekly non-stops between its Sydney base and the popular Western Australian holiday centre of Broome, twice-weekly services linking Perth with the Queensland tourism destination of Cairns and, from 26 June, four non-stops a week between Melbourne and Ayers Rock.

    American Airlines is, from Boston, launching daily non-stops to Manchester (England) from 15 May for the summer season, and inaugurating daily Brussels flights from New York JFK the next day. Also from New York JFK, it will resume daily round-trips to Kingston, Jamaica, from 1 July for the summer season. From Chicago O'Hare, it is resuming services to Glasgow (Scotland) from 1 May throughout the summer, launching twice-daily non-stops to Sacramento from 10 June, and recommencing summer services to Anchorage and Vancouver from 1 June. From Los Angeles, American is also increasing London Heathrow frequencies, to double daily, from this Saturday, starting daily non-stops to Tokyo Narita from 4 April and adding non-stop dailies to San Salvador from 10 June. The same day will see the start of its first seasonal non-stops between San Francisco and the Hawaiian island of Maui, daily.

    Among the new routes opened by its regional oneworld affiliates, American Eagle will launch daily non-stops between Dallas/Fort Worth and Santa Barbara (California) from 4 April and weekly non-stops between New York LaGuardia and Traverse City (Michigan) from 1 July. AmericanConnection is to resume flights between St Louis and Evansville (Indiana) with two daily round-trips from 1 May.

    oneworld's member airlines serve more than 570 destinations in 135 countries.

    BA moves 20 per cent of its London Heathrow operations between terminals: British Airways has just undergone its biggest operational change for almost two decades, with one in five of its flights at its London Heathrow hub moving terminals.

    From Sunday (28 March) its flights serving oneworld partner Cathay Pacific's Hong Kong home switched from Terminal 4 to Terminal 1, along with those for alliance hub Los Angeles plus Athens, Moscow Domodedovo and San Francisco. Transferring in the opposite direction – from Terminal 1 to Terminal 4 – were its flights serving the Geneva and Zurich hubs of oneworld partner elect Swiss International Air Lines, plus Brussels, Copenhagen, Geneva, Lyon, Oslo and Vienna.

    In selecting services to switch in this, the second and final phase of its Heathrow swaps, the UK oneworld carrier has aimed to smooth transfers for as many passengers as possible. It means more customers than ever will be able to connect between its longhaul and shorthaul flights without having to move between different terminals. It also enables the airline to make the best use of available terminal capacity before it moves its entire operation into the new Terminal 5 in 2008.

    Switzerland gains sixth new oneworld route since SWISS voted on board: British Airways is to launch services between its London Gatwick hub and Zurich, the main base of Swiss International Air Lines, which is on track to join oneworld later this year. The new route will be flown twice daily, initially, with Boeing 737-400s, in addition to the airline's schedule between its main London Heathrow hub and the Swiss gateway.

    The new route is the sixth new service to Switzerland opened by oneworld's established partners since SWISS was voted on board as a member designate in September.

    Earlier this year Iberia Regional launched daily flights between Zurich and both Seville and Valencia, and between Barcelona and Basel six days a week. Aer Lingus starts services between its Dublin hub and Zurich from the end of this month, while Finnair operated flights between the Swiss financial centre and Kittilä, in Lapland, during the winter peak season.

    Iberia is also raising frequencies between Zurich and its Madrid hub to four daily from this week.

    Iberia extends choice in Europe: Iberia is offering Economy Class passengers on its domestic and European services more choice as part of its strategy of offering lower prices. Besides providing a choice of fare types, it has now introduced a new "pay-as-you-go, a la carte menu" offering wider choice of catering. Food on offer includes sandwiches, tapas-style assortments of Spanish cold meats, salads, sweets, dried fruits, appetisers, pastries and snacks. There are also set menu options for breakfast and lunch or dinner, depending on the time of day. Drinks available range from wines, beers and spirits to fruit juices, tea, coffee and other soft drinks. Prices range from Euro 1 to Euro 7.

    Cathay to launch New York-Hong Kong non-stops on 1 July: Cathay Pacific will start flying non-stop between New York JFK and its Hong Kong base from 1 July, with daily Airbus A340-600s. It will be the only daily non-stop flight between the two airports and, with its daily flights via Vancouver continuing, Cathay will be the only airline operating twice daily between the points. By flying a route over the northern polar region, the new non-stops will cut three off from the current journey time. The A340s operating the service will offer an enlarged business cabin in anticipation of high demand, with 60 seats besides eight in First Class and 220 Economy.

    AA and BA take code-share routes to 172: American Airlines and British Airways have rolled out the sixth and final phase of their initial code-sharing arrangements, taking the number of AA routes flown with BA codes to 104 and the total BA routes carrying the AA flight prefix to 68.

    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 this year - 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 – around 570 destinations and 135 territories - and oneworld offers more alliance fare and sales products, serving more markets, than all its competitors together. Its members' 1 900 aircraft operate some 8 000 flights a day.