aword from oneworld: May 2008

21 May 2008

Malév links Split to oneworld network again:  Malév Hungarian Airlines has resumed its summer season services to Split with five flights a week between the Croatian city and the airline's Budapest base.   Malév is the only oneworld partner serving the gateway to the Adriatic's Dalmatian coast, which features some of Europe's most beautiful beaches.

Dublin to be BA's tenth destination served from London City:  Dublin is to be the tenth destination served by British Airways from London City from 1 June. Its subsidiary BA CityFlyer, which is a oneworld affiliate, will serve the Irish capital three times a day from the closest gateway to the UK capital's financial district.  Earlier this month, the airline opened service from the airport to Amsterdam, Barcelona and Warsaw and will increase frequencies to Nice to two a day from September.    

BA to serve JFK from Gatwick besides Heathrow:  British Airways is to open a new route between New York JFK and London, with daily four-class Boeing 777s to and from Gatwick from 27 October - in addition to its existing 55 roundtrips a week between JFK and London Heathrow.  BA also serves Newark-Heathrow.  The new Gatwick flights will replace its current 767 dailies between JFK and Manchester.  The new route means that oneworld carriers will offer three London gateways to JFK, with American Airlines serving Heathrow and Stansted.

American launches Milan Malpensa and Barcelona routes:  American Airlines has launched services between New York JFK and both Milan Malpensa and Barcelona with daily non-stops, using two-class Boeing 767-300s.  Seven of oneworld's current ten member airlines now serve Milan Malpensa while five operate to Barcelona.

American is also launching two new Caribbean routes, linking Miami with both Antigua and Grenada non-stop from 20 November.  It will serve Antigua daily and Grenada five days a week.  Both islands are both already on the oneworld network.

Its regional affiliate American Eagle, which is also part of oneworld, will link New York LaGuardia with Cedar Rapids from 2 July, with daily non-stops.   It and AmericanConnection already fly to the Iowa airport from Chicago O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth and St Louis.

LAN Peru to link Lima with Medellin:  LAN Peru is to link its Lima hub with Colombia's Medellin next week, with daily flights via Quito from Thursday (15 May), operated by Airbus A319s.  The oneworld affiliate already serves Colombia's capital, Bogota.  The airline current flies to 12 domestic destinations in Peru and 14 international gateways. 

BA to move a quarter of its Terminal 4 operations to Terminal 5 on 5 June:  The next phase of British Airways' move of operations at its London Heathrow hub to its new Terminal 5 base will take place next month, with the transfer with effect from 5 June of the first eight longhaul routes from Terminal 4 - New York JFK, Abuja, Bangalore, Beijing, Cairo, Cape Town, Lagos and Phoenix. 

The airline serves JFK eight times a day from Heathrow, and operates dailies on all the other routes, so this transfer represents around a quarter of BA's Terminal 4 schedule.      

All BA's UK domestic and other shorthaul services (with the exception of Barcelona, Madrid, Lisbon, Nice and Helsinki) and longhaul flights serving Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, Tokyo Narita and Vancouver have been based at Terminal 5 since 27 March.

In a change from the original plan, BA will now switch its operations from Terminal 4 to Terminal 5 on a phased basis, rather than all in one go, with dates for the remaining moves to be announced in due course.

American opens its own premium check-in area at London Heathrow:  American Airlines has opened its own new check-in area for premium passengers at London Heathrow.  Its Flagship Check-In is in its own building adjacent to Terminal 3.  It can be used by passengers traveling in First or Business Class, or Emerald tier members of any oneworld airline frequent flyer programme.

Cathay Pacific, Dragonair and Finnair complete Shanghai moves:  Cathay Pacific, Dragonair and Finnair have moved operations at Shanghai Pudong into the airport's new Terminal 2.  British Airways and Qantas switched there late last month.  American Airlines intends to move to Terminal 2 later but will remain in Terminal 1 for now, alongside fellow oneworld member Japan Airlines and their code-share partner China Eastern which will also stay there.  Cathay Pacific and Dragonair have also opened a new lounge in Shanghai Pudong Terminal 2. 

American to introduce charge for some passengers checking in second bag:  American Airlines has followed most of the rest of the US industry in introducing a US$25 charge for some domestic Economy Class passengers checking in a second bag.  The first bag remains free.  The new ruling also applies to its oneworld regional affiliate American Eagle - but as it covers only passengers flying entirely US domestic journeys, the new policy does not apply to those traveling on oneworld itineraries. 

The charge will NOT apply to Gold, Platinum and Executive Platinum tier members of its AAdvantage frequent flyer programme - or Emerald, Sapphire or Ruby tier members in any oneworld partner's loyalty scheme, passengers traveling on full-fare Economy, Business or First Class tickets, or those with international itineraries (except to and from Canada and US territories, such as Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands).

Iberia to increase check-in baggage allowance and cut excess charges:  Iberia has changed its check-in baggage policy "to reduce both complications and costs for customers", with more generous free allowances for passengers.  Economy Class passengers on Spanish domestic or European routes can now check-in up to 23 kg free, 3 kg more than before.   Business Class customers will have a 30 kg allowance.  On longhaul flights to the Americas or Africa, the Economy Class limit is now two items, each weighing a maximum of 23 kg - giving a 46 kg allowance overall.  Business Class travellers can check-in three items of up to 23 kg each, giving a total of 69 kg.

Finnair enables customers to calculate carbon emissions from their flights:  Finnair is now enabling its customers to calculate their flights' fuel consumption and resulting carbon dioxide emissions.  The airline is not, however, offering them the opportunity to offset the emissions resulting from their journey, as its oneworld partner British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Dragonair and Qantas already do.  

oneworld in brief:  oneworld brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business - American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN, Malév Hungarian Airlines, Qantas and Royal Jordanian, plus some 20 affiliates, including American Eagle, South Africa's Comair, Dragonair, LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador and LAN Peru.  Mexicana will join in 2009, with its subsidiary Click Mexicana as an affiliate.

Its airlines serve some 700 destinations in 150 countries and offer almost 550 airport lounges worldwide.   They carried around 320 million passengers last year.  It is the only alliance with any member airlines based in South America, the Middle East or Australia.

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 Leading Airline Alliance for the fifth year running in the 2007 World Travel Awards, based on votes cast by some 170 000 travel professionals, including more than 110 000 travel agents in 200 countries.