oneworld appoints Nicolas E Ferri Vice-President Commercial

01 December 2003

oneworld™, the leading international airline alliance, has appointed Nicolas E Ferri as Vice-President Commercial. He will join its central management team on 15 January, leading its sales and marketing activities, bringing on board substantial experience of international airline sales, marketing and alliance working.

oneworld comprises eight of the biggest and best airlines in the world - American Airlines, British Airways, Qantas, Cathay Pacific Airways, Iberia, LanChile, Finnair and Aer Lingus. Swiss International Air Lines will join during 2004. Together, they generate more than US$50 billion in revenues a year. oneworld provides them and their customers with services, benefits and value that no airline can generate on its own.

Nicolas Ferri has worked in the international airline industry for more than 15 years, 11 of them with United Airlines, where, until earlier this year, he was General Manager Sales and Marketing for Hong Kong, India and Philippines, the airline's biggest Asian region apart from Japan. Among his responsibilities was leading sales activity in the territory for the Star alliance.

He served at United's Chicago head office as its Regional Manager Alliances, representing the airline in recruiting Mexicana and Brazil's Varig to its Star grouping and overseeing the introduction of the Star alliance brand into Latin America. He earlier acted as Executive Assistant to its Senior Vice-President International.

His other overseas roles with United included General Manager Taiwan, Sales Manager Italy and Sales Manager Costa Rica. He joined the airline in 1992 as Sales Manager in his native Uruguay after three years working for Varig and Pan Am as a Sales and Customer Service Agent at Montevideo.

He resigned from United in May to develop a US business importing products from Asia.

He speaks English, Spanish and Italian fluently, German to a conversational level and basic Mandarin. He graduated in law from the University of Uruguay at Montevideo and he lists travel and hiking among his hobbies.

His new oneworld position combines two previous posts - Vice-President Sales, held by Maunu von Lueders before he left oneworld last month to become President of partner Finnair's new Swedish budget subsidiary Nordic Airlink, and Vice-President Marketing, filled by John McCulloch until he was promoted in June to head up the alliance's central team as Managing Partner.

Based at oneworld's central management offices in Vancouver and reporting to John McCulloch, Nicolas Ferri will be responsible for building revenues generated by the alliance's unrivalled range of fare and sales products - of which oneworld offers more than all its competitors combined, delivering hundreds of millions of US dollars a year - and for managing the alliance's frequent flyer offerings, brand, advertising and promotions.

Managing Partner John McCulloch said: "This position attracted a high level of interest both from within the oneworld alliance and externally. Nicolas Ferri emerged as the best suited candidate from an exceptionally strong shortlist. His skills and experience will be a real asset as we build on the progress oneworld has achieved in its first five years."

Nicolas Ferri said: "I am delighted to be joining oneworld and contributing to develop further its already strong sales and marketing presence around the world. At this critical junction in the history of worldwide aviation, alliances are more important than ever. As the most international of all airline groupings, oneworld is uniquely positioned. Capitalising on the quality of service and strength of its member airlines I will do my very best to ensure oneworld's sales and marketing offerings continue to exceed customers' and member airlines' needs and expectations."

Between them, oneworld's existing eight member airlines plus member elect SWISS serve more countries than any global airline alliance, with flights to 575 destinations in 136 countries. Members of any oneworld airline's frequent flyer scheme can earn awards and points on eligible fares and redeem them throughout this network. The eight airlines and their affiliates carried more than 220 million passengers last year on a combined fleet of almost 2 000 aircraft, earning revenues of some US$50 billion. In the past three years, oneworld has delivered more than US$2 billion in value to its members, through increased revenue and cost savings. It was recently named the World's Leading Airline Alliance in the World Travel Awards, based on votes cast by 80 000 travel agencies professionals from more than 200 countries.