aword from oneworld: September 2002

04 October 2002

QANTAS MOVE SMOOTHS US TRANSFERS AT LOS ANGELES: Qantas is to move closer alongside American Airlines at major oneworld™ hub Los Angeles International Airport, as part of a continued strengthening of the relationship between the two partners – and making journeys between Australia and cities across the USA smoother than ever.

The phased transfer of operations begins on 7 October, when the Australian airline will start using AA's new immigration facilities at LAX's Terminal 4. This, Qantas says, will provide its passengers disembarking at the airport with a faster immigration and passenger clearance process - and an easier transfer for those taking its code-share flights with American to other US destinations. Meantime, Qantas departures will continue to operate from the Tom Bradley International Terminal. In September next year, however, additional Qantas services will arrive and depart from Terminal 4 and Qantas passengers will have access to new Admirals Club and Flagship lounges being developed in Terminal 4 by Qantas and American Airlines.

Qantas operates 28 services a week between Australia and New Zealand and Los Angeles, and offers code-share services with AA to a range of destinations across the USA.

American Airlines has recently dedicated Terminal 4 at Los Angeles after a wide-ranging, US$300 million improvement project. The facility is now linked to the Tom Bradley International Terminal – used by oneworld partners Aer Lingus, British Airways, Cathay Pacific and LanChile - with a moving walkway, smoothing transfers for passengers taking code-share connections between the airlines and AA.

AMERICAN EAGLE FLIES INTO US EASTERN SEABOARD MARKETS: American Eagle, the regional affiliate of American Airlines, has entered among the busiest of the US Eastern Seaboard markets by inaugurating high-frequency service between New York LaGuardia and Boston Logan with ten regional jet flights a day in each direction. It adds services between LaGuardia and Washington National on 1 October, also flying ten frequencies a day.

These high-frequency operations will feature complimentary beverages, including beer and wine for departures after 11 am. Snacks will be served on all flights, and newspapers provided on all morning departures. Its regional jets offer the speed and comfort of a large jet, with leather seats in a "one-by-two" configuration, large overhead bins and a closet for hanging bags, with boarding and disembarkation using jet bridges.

American Eagle already serves Boston from four other New York area airports - JFK, Newark, White Plains, and Islip. American Eagle currently serves 10 other destinations from LaGuardia, including Detroit, Cleveland, and Columbus, Ohio.

Members of any oneworld airline's frequent flyer programme can earn and redeem awards on these services, in line with regular loyalty scheme rules.

QANTASLINK SWITCHES TO NEW SYDNEY HOME: Services by QantasLink, the Australian airline's regional subsidiary, at Sydney are now operating from a new terminal. All QantasLink flights at Sydney now depart from and arrive at Terminal 2, the old Ansett terminal – other than those serving Canberra and Gold Coast, which remain in Terminal 3, the established QF Domestic Terminal at its main hub airport. Terminal 2 offers check-in in its main concourse and also within the 220-seat Qantas Club lounge located in Pier B, the area QantasLink uses. As a result of the switch, Qantas flights at its main Sydney hub now depart from the following terminals:
· Flights QF001 to QF399 from Terminal 1 (Sydney International terminal)
· Flights QF400 to QF1599 from Terminal 3 (Qantas Domestic terminal)
· Flights QF1600 and above from Terminal 2 (the former Ansett domestic terminal)

Qantas continues to offer seamless connections between Terminal 1 and Terminal 3, with convenient transfer between Terminal 3 and Terminal 2 via the Airport Link rail walkway.

ST LOUIS HUB TO BE GIVEN US$21 MILLION UPGRADE: St Louis, the US hub that joined the oneworld network through American Airlines' acquisition of TWA last year, is to be up-graded by AA and the airport with US$21 million package of improvements including more ticket counters and self-service check-in kiosks, loading bridges for regional jets, new air conditioning, more shops and restaurant and an expanded security check area. AA described its US$14.6 million share of the investment as underlining its long-term commitment to the airport.

AMERICAN TO OFFER IN-FLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT FREE ON ALL FLIGHTS: American Airlines is scrapping its US$5 charge for in-flight entertainment on flights within North America from 1 November, which means IFE will be free on all AA flights throughout its system worldwide. Passengers in economy cabins on flights within the USA and to Canada, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii and the Caribbean will be encouraged to bring their own audio headset on board to listen to the airline's audio and video channels, although headsets will be available to buy at US$2 each, and purchasers will be able to keep them after the flight for future use. Premium class passengers will continue to receive headsets free.

BA SHIFTS ANOTHER SEVEN ROUTES FROM GATWICK TO HEATHROW: British Airways is to transfer another seven routes from London Gatwick to Heathrow late next month, with its entire African network served from its main base from then. Flights to Harare in Zimbabwe and Lusaka in Zambia will switch to Heathrow Terminal 4, along with those to San Diego, Denver and Phoenix in the USA. Services to St Petersburg in Russia, Tripoli in Libya and Sofia in Bulgaria will also transfer, to Heathrow's Terminal 1. Heathrow will also add a third daily Athens service, with the single daily to the Greek capital from Gatwick suspended, further reducing duplication between the two London airports. Frequencies from Gatwick to the Caribbean will be increased with two more Antigua services a week added to provide a daily service, and additional onwards flights to Tobago and Grenada. From Heathrow, flights to Cape Town will rise from seven to 10 a week.

CATHAY INCREASES MELBOURNE AND BRISBANE FREQUENCIES: Cathay Pacific is adding more services to oneworld partner Qantas' home territory. From next month, it will increase Melbourne frequencies by four, giving 11 services a week. Cathay will also add an additional flight between its Hong Kong home base and Brisbane

AA ADDS SECOND DAILY MIAMI-LONDON SERVICE: American Airlines is to add a second daily service between Miami and London Heathrow from 27 October, using 245-seat Boeing 777s. A couple of days later, on 1 November it will launch flights from the Florida city to Punta Cana, in the Dominican Republic.

QANTAS.COM GETS A NEW LOOK: Qantas has given its website a new look, offering improved access to low fares. Visitors can download schedules to personal digital assistants (PDAs) such as Palms and Pocket PCs. The airline has also introduced its first foreign language website, for customers in Germany -

FINNAIR TO FLY BACK TO OSAKA: Finnair is to resume services to Osaka, in Japan, next June, three years after suspending the route in the face of overcapacity in that market.

BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING SHOWCASE LANCHILE'S VIDEO LEAD: Filmgoers in Chile are being offered the ideal way of seeing the hit film My Big Fat Greek Wedding before its general release in the country next year – by flying with LanChile. The airline is screening the hit movie as part of its recently enhanced in-flight entertainment package. LanChile aircraft are fitted with individual screens in First, Business and Economy with audio and video on demand, enabling passengers to fast forward, rewind or stop movies at any point. It claims to be the only international airline offering such an advanced system in economy class.

LANCHILE NAMED LATIN AMERICA'S BEST BY TOP US MAGAZINE: LanChile has been named the best airline in Latin America for the second year running by the prestigious American magazine Global Finance, ahead of 14 other carriers considered in the region. The magazine basis its rankings – covering the whole world - on the opinions of analysts, sector experts, specialised editors and journalists.