aword from oneworld: October 2006

18 October 2006

Five more destinations join oneworld network with new flying season: Five more destinations - two in Australia, one in the USA, one in the UK and one in West Africa - will join the network served by the oneworld®  alliance during the new flying season, which starts at the end of this month.

The two new Australian points are both in Queensland - Hervey Bay, gateway to the World Heritage listed Fraser Island, which affiliate QantasLink will link with Brisbane 32 times a week, and Biloela, which provides access to a number of mining projects in the centre of the state, which QantasLink will serve from Brisbane four flights a day. Both new routes will be launched from 29 October. oneworld is the only global alliance with a full network in Australia, served by founder member Qantas and its QantasLink regional affiliate.

The day after these two new points are brought on-line, affiliate BMED, which flies as a franchisee of British Airways, will inaugurate service to Sierra Leone's Freetown. It will serve the West African city with three Airbus A321s a week to and from London Heathrow. BMED will fly there in conjunction with Dakar, in Senegal, which is already on the oneworld map through Iberia.

A day later, another BA franchisee, GB Airways, adds a 28th destination in the UK to the alliance's map, with the launch of services between East Midlands and Tenerife South, with an initial three round trips a week.

Alexandria will be the sixth city in the US state of Louisiana to be brought on-line to oneworld, when affiliate American Eagle launches non-stops to and from its home base Dallas/Fort Worth from 14 December, with an initial three daily round-trips, using 34-seat Saab 340 turboprops.

Among the other key new routes launched by the alliance's member airlines this season:

  • London Heathrow-Calgary: British Airways will start non-stops between its London Heathrow hub and Calgary, in the Canadian province of Alberta, from 1 December with an initial five Boeing 777s a week. Calgary is already on the oneworld network through services by American Airlines.
  • Helsinki-Delhi: Finnair will join American Airlines, British Airways and Cathay Pacific in serving Delhi, with non-stops to and from its Helsinki hub from 1 November.
  • Hong Kong-Shanghai: Cathay Pacific plans to resume passenger services to Shanghai from 1 December with daily non-stop Airbus A330-300s or A340-300s between the city's Pudong airport and the airline's Hong Kong hub, subject to final government approval. Shanghai is already on-line to oneworld, through services by American Airlines, British Airways, Finnair and Qantas. It is also served by member elect Japan Airlines.

Affiliate GB Airways to add two more Greek islands to alliance map: Two more Greek islands are to join the oneworld network next summer, with affiliate GB Airways, which flies as a franchisee of British Airways, is launching services in May to Corfu and Mykonos. Both will be served from London Gatwick, with two-class Airbus A320s.

The new flights will be the first scheduled services between both islands and the UK. Corfu has the three-letter IATA code CFU and Mykonos is JMK.

They increase the number of destinations in Greece served by the alliance's carriers by 50 per cent to six, with Athens, Heraklion, Rhodes and Salonika already on the network.

Also next May, GB Airways will add a second London route to Faro. It already serves the Portuguese gateway four times a day from Gatwick, but will now operate also from London Heathrow.

World's southernmost city, Argentina's Ushuaia, rejoins network: The world's southernmost city, Argentina's Ushuaia, is to be part of the oneworld network for the third running southern hemisphere summer season. On the island of Tierra del Fuego at the tip of Argentina, near Cape Horn, it is now linked by LAN to its Santiago hub, with three Airbus A319s a week flying via Puerto Montt and Punta Arenas. As capital of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego, Antarctica and Southern Atlantic Islands Province, Ushuaia also serves as a gateway to the Antarctic. The region is famed for its spectacular mountain scenery, primeval forests, rugged coastlines and live glaciers, which attract thousands of ecotourists and adventure travellers.

Finnair doubles Tokyo flights and increases Paris and Copenhagen services: Finnair is to double frequencies between its Helsinki home and future oneworld hub Tokyo Narita to four a week from December. The airline is also services on its European network on the back of increased feed from its growing Asian operations. From its Helsinki hub, it will add a fifth daily frequency to both Paris CDG from November and Copenhagen from January.

Qantas scoops airline Oscars: Qantas emerged the biggest winner in this year's Oscars for the airline industry, taking three Avion prizes in the 2006 World Airline Entertainment Association awards - including for the best overall in-flight entertainment. It also took the awards for best entertainment provided through in-seat systems and best in-flight entertainment guide. Cathay Pacific was a runner-up in the overall best in-flight entertainment category. The winners were selected by a panel of 23 international experts drawn from airlines worldwide.

Iberia consolidates its lead between Europe and Latin America: Iberia has consolidated its position as the leading airline between Europe and Latin America, as it celebrates 60 years service to this market, with passenger carryings on these routes up 9,4 per cent year-on-year in the first eight months of 2006, taking its market share to 18,8 per cent, up 1,3 points ahead of its nearest rival. Iberia operates 236 return flights a week to 17 destinations in Latin America.

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. Japan Airlines, Malév and Royal Jordanian will join them early next year.

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.

Note: LAN affiliates LAN Ecuador and LAN Argentina are not members of oneworld.