oneworld airline alliance appoints new Managing Partner with promotion of John McCulloch

01 June 2003

John McCulloch is being promoted to the role of Managing Partner (Chief Executive) of the oneworld™ global airline alliance.

His appointment was confirmed today by the Chief Executives of the grouping's member airlines – American Airlines, British Airways, Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Iberia, LanChile, Finnair and Aer Lingus – at the latest of their regular Governing Boards, in Washington DC, ahead of tomorrow's annual meeting of IATA, the International Air Transport Association.

The meeting was the first oneworld Governing Board attended by Gerard Arpey since he was appointed American Airlines' Chief Executive in April – and the first for Iberia's Chairman designate Fernando Conte, who was accompanied by the out-going head of the Spanish airline, Xabier de Irala, whom he succeeds later this month. Both of the newcomers underlined the importance of oneworld to their airlines.

John McCulloch will succeed Peter Buecking, who was named last month as the new President of SITA, the leading provider of IT and communications services to the air transport industry. As oneworld's Vice-President Marketing, John McCulloch currently serves as his deputy.

In his new role, John will continue to work from Vancouver, base of the oneworld Management Company, the central alliance team, combining his existing role for Marketing and Customer Experience with his new wider responsibilities, reporting to the oneworld Governing Board.

Keijo Suila, current Governing Board Chairman as Chief Executive of Finnair, said: "We are fortunate to have someone of John McCulloch's ability to succeed Peter Buecking. John is highly respected across oneworld's airlines, and his appointment will enable us, with no disruption, to continue to build on the solid foundations laid since the alliance was established four years ago. In these tough times for our industry, working wisely together helps us all ride out the storm."

John McCulloch said: "Peter is a hard act to follow, but I look forward to continuing to work in my new expanded role with our member airlines and central team to establish oneworld firmly as the leading global airline alliance, increasing the contribution we make to our shareholders and the benefits we provide our customers."

Between them, oneworld's members account for almost 20 per cent of the world airline industry output, earning more than US$50 billion in revenues last year and carrying some 230 million passengers on a fleet of 2 000 aircraft operating more than 8 500 flights a day.

In the past three years, oneworld has generated more than US$2 billion in value for them, through revenue generation and cost savings. The world's most international alliance, serving more countries than any other airline grouping, it was named the world's best airline alliance in the first award to recognize this sector of the industry (Business Traveller magazine September 2002).

Peter Buecking was appointed the first boss of its central alliance team in April 2000 after 17 years with founder member Cathay Pacific Airways, latterly as Director of Sales and Marketing.

John McCulloch was one of the first executives recruited by the oneworld Management Company, in June 2000. He served for 15 years with Cathay Pacific in Hong Kong, Australia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Japan and Canada, covering roles in marketing, sales, country management, distribution, yield management, operations and technology. He then joined banking multinational HSBC, becoming Head of Group Marketing based in its London headquarters, responsible for implementing its global rebranding in the late 1990s.

A 44-year-old Scot, he is a Cambridge law graduate. His wife is Japanese, which John speaks, along with Bahasa Indonesian. They have three children. A keen sportsman, he has run the London Marathon in 3 hours 40 minutes.

For a portrait photo of John McCulloch, click here