aword from oneworld: May 2006

23 May 2006

oneworld members sweep the board at Airline of the Year awards: oneworldTM members swept the board at the 2006 OAG Airline of the Year awards, taking eight top prizes while its two rival alliances managed just three each.

Cathay Pacific was named OAG's overall Airline of the Year, its fourth such title gained in the past six months. oneworld's Hong Kong-based partner, recently named Airline of the Year also by Air Transport World, SkyTrax and TTG Asia, was honoured as well as OAG's best airline in Asia and best Transpacific.

Among its oneworld partners British Airways gained the best European and best transatlantic awards, LAN retained its title as best in Central/South America and Caribbean, and Qantas best in Australasia/Pacific, while American Airlines was recognised as airline of choice for travelers with disabilities.

The awards, presented at a glittering ceremony in London this month, are based on a poll of worldwide business travellers, carried out on behalf of OAG, the travel information and planning supplier.

New home pages unveiled for five key markets: New home pages for five specific countries - France, Germany, Canada, Switzerland and the Netherlands - have gone live on

All the new country sites are available in English and the languages of the home country (other than the Netherlands version, which is available in English only). They each include pages detailing the alliance's benefits, fares, including its businessflyer product for small and medium enterprises, and promotions and special fares available in each specific country. They also include special sections for travel agents.

A full Japanese language website was launched by the alliance a year ago.

To view any of these sites, select your country of choice from the "worldwide sites" drop-down list in the top right corner of - or by going directly to etc

Louisiana's Monroe joins oneworld network: Monroe, in Louisiana, is to join the oneworld network next month, with regional affiliate American Eagle linking the city with its Dallas/Fort Worth hub three times daily from 15 June, using 34-seat Saab 340 turboprop aircraft. In the north east of the state, its airport has the three-letter IATA code MLU.

Finnair flies into Florence/Pisa: Finnair has added Florence/Pisa to its network, joining British Airways and Iberia in serving the gateway to Italy's Tuscany region.

BA unveils 'radical shake-up' in shorthaul pricing: British Airways has implemented "a radical shake-up of its shorthaul fares", cutting prices by up to half. Tickets will now start at GBP29 one-way all-inclusive - which, the airline pointed out, is less than the cost of a top-flight soccer game ticket.

It is also scrapping all non-changeable economy tickets from the UK across its Europe network, with the exception of Russia. Now travellers will be able to change their flights, no matter what they have paid for the ticket, up to midnight the day before departure, for a GBP30 administration fee per transaction (GBP50 for flights to Tel Aviv).

Commercial Director Martin George said: "We operate in a very competitive market and are determined to be the first choice for air travellers, who want low prices, flexibility, and a superb flying experience. This is a long-term commitment to our millions of customers to offer irresistible low fares every day of the year."

The airline confirmed it would continue to offer complimentary food and drink on its mainline European services.

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. Three more airlines are lining up to join - Royal Jordanian and Malév, which will board early next year, and Japan Airlines, which has signed a memorandum of understanding as its first step towards membership.

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.

Remarque : LAN affiliates LAN ECUADOR and LAN ARGENTINA are not members of oneworld.