oneworld airline leaders meet for first time at American Airlines' Dallas/Fort Worth home base to mark alliance's biggest recruitment drive

02 November 2005

American Airlines is hosting the Chief Executives from its seven partners in oneworldTM today as the alliance's Governing Board meets for the first time at the airline's Dallas/Fort Worth home base. The meeting occurs as the grouping enters its biggest expansion drive since it was launched more than six years ago.

During their visit, the CEOs – whose airlines among them account for 16 per cent of the total world airline industry's capacity – also saw DFW Airport's new US$1.2 billion International Terminal D.

American moved its international operations at DFW into the new terminal last Saturday – and yesterday launched services from there to Osaka, Japan. British Airways, the other oneworld carrier currently with its own flights to DFW, also now operates from Terminal D.

oneworld was launched in February 1999 by founding partners American, British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Qantas. Finnair and Iberia joined them later that year, with Aer Lingus and LAN following in 2000.

The airlines' Chief Executives meet as the alliance's Governing Board three times a year in various oneworld locations worldwide – but, while they have met at other locations in the USA,until now have not had the opportunity to gather in Dallas/Fort Worth.

It will be their first meeting since the alliance announced that three carriers are lining up to join them, in oneworld's biggest recruitment program to date:

  • Japan Airlines, Asia-Pacific's largest airline and the third largest in the world in revenue terms, which last week announced its decision to seek membership.
  • Royal Jordanian, which last month became the first carrier from the Middle East region to find a home in any of the global alliances and will start offering oneworld services and benefits from around the turn of 2006/2007.
  • Hungary's Malév, which signed a memorandum of understanding in May as its first step towards joining.

American's Chairman and CEO Gerard Arpey said: "oneworld makes a significant contribution to American Airlines. Our alliance partners transferred more than 1,5 million passengers to our network in 2004, generating hundreds of millions of dollars for American that we would otherwise not have earned and enabling us to operate routes and frequencies that we could not justify on our own.

"This strengthens the role of DFW as a major international hub and contributes significantly to the overall economic well-being of North Texas, enhancing this region's standing as an important center of international trade and cultural exchange. We welcome the opportunity to say thank you to our partners with typical Texas hospitality."

oneworld Managing Partner John McCulloch said: "A visit to the home base of oneworld's biggest member airline has been long overdue – but the time is perfect for our grouping, as we welcome three new members to our fold and the alliance's contribution to its existing partners reaches an all-time high."

oneworld's existing eight members and their 12 affiliates currently serve 134 countries and 599 destinations. With JAL, Royal Jordanian and Malév, the oneworld map would extend to 686 destinations in 140 countries and territories.

The existing members carried more than 240 million passengers in 2004. Include the three candidate recruits and that total rises to more than 305 million a year.

The alliance currently offers more than 8 000 departures a day. With the three recruits, that will increase by another 1 000.

The existing partners earned almost US$60 billion in revenues in total in 2004. JAL, Royal Jordanian and Malév will raise that by a third, to more than US$80 billion.

oneworld offers more alliance fare and sales products than any of its competitors, earning almost US$600 million for its member airlines in 2004, with the seven million passengers transferring between oneworld members generating revenues totalling US$1.6 billion in the year.

oneworld activities generated one in every US$30 dollars earned by its member airlines from passenger services in the past year.

The alliance enables its members to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own, keeping them more competitive. These include a broader route network, opportunities to earn and redeem frequent flyer miles and points across the whole alliance network and access to more airport lounges.

It has since April this year been the only alliance to enable customers to transfer between flights by all of its member airlines using electronic tickets.

oneworld has won more top international awards for airline alliances than both its competitors combined - voted the world's best airline alliance for the second year running by readers of Business Traveller magazine in its 2005 poll and named the World's Leading Airline Alliance for the second year running in the 2004 World Travel Awards, based on votes cast by travel professionals from 80 000 agencies in more than 200 countries.