OpenSkies to fly as oneworld affiliate

23 November 2012

OpenSkies, the British Airways subsidiary that offers premium airline services between the USA and continental Europe, is to become an affiliate member of oneworld®, the leading quality global airline alliance, with effect from 1 December 2012.

OpenSkies currently links Paris with the New York metro area with two daily round trips between Paris Orly and Newark.  From March, frequencies will rise to three daily round trips with the addition of one daily round trip between Paris Orly and New York JFK.  It is the only airline offering flights to and from the USA at Paris Orly's West Terminal - the closest to the city centre and with the widest choice of connections within France.

All OpenSkies services are operated by Boeing 757s in a special three-class configuration, with services being brought more into line with those offered on British Airways' own mainline flights:

  • Biz Bed cabin features 20 seats that convert to fully-flat beds, similar to British Airways' Club World (business class).
  • Prem Plus is an upmarket premium economy, with 28 leather seats in a roomy 2:2 configuration, reclining 130o.
  • Eco is an economy class offering comfort and personalised service, with 66 seats in a 3:3 configuration.

For in-flight entertainment, all passengers are offered a personal iPad with more than 70 hours of movies, TV shows and games.

Its flight attendants wear the usual British Airways uniform, and its aircraft are painted in a livery similar to the regular British Airways design, but the OpenSkies logo along their fuselages.

Its flights now all operate using the BA flight code and its frequent flyer programme is British Airways Executive Club.

At New York JFK and Newark, Biz Bed and Prem Plus passengers are able to use British Airways' lounges.  At Paris Orly, they are offered access to Iberia's VIP lounge.  

As a oneworld affiliate member, from 1 December it will offer the alliance's full range of services and benefits - including, for members of any oneworld member airlines' frequent flyer programme, the ability to earn mileage rewards and tier status points and redeem mileage rewards on all OpenSkies flights, and, for top tier cardholders, lounge access when flying OpenSkies.   

At the same time, its flights will be featured in all oneworld fares and passengers holding oneworld Emerald and Sapphire status in any oneworld airline's loyalty programme will also be able to use these facilities when flying on OpenSkies from 1 December, no matter in which cabin they are flying.

OpenSkies Managing Director Patrick Malval said: "With OpenSkies being brought closer to mainstream British Airways, we are delighted now to be able to offer our customers the full range of oneworld services and benefits and to bring our flights into the network of the world's leading quality airline alliance."

OpenSkies was launched by oneworld founder member British Airways in 2008 and has carried half a million customers since then.  It operates a fleet of three Boeing 757-200s.

Besides its 11 full member airlines, oneworld also includes some 30 affiliate members.  These are generally regional airlines with strong links with oneworld full member airlines. 

British Airways has three established oneworld affiliate members - BA CityFlyer, which operates out of London City airport, and two airlines which operate as British Airways franchisees, in Denmark's SUN-AIR and South Africa's Comair.

Other oneworld affiliate members include:

  • airberlin's Austria-based affiliate NIKI.
  • American Airlines' regional affiliates American Eagle (including flights operated as American Eagle by Executive Airlines, ExpressJet and SkyWest) and American-Connection (operated by Chautauqua Airlines).
  • Cathay Pacific's Dragonair
  • Finnair's Flybe Finland (on routes it operates on behalf of Finnair).
  • Iberia Regional Air Nostrum and Iberia Express.
  • JAL Express, J-AIR and Japan Transocean Air.
  • LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador and LAN Peru.
  • QantasLink and its operators Airlink (National Jet Systems), Eastern Australian Airlines, Sunstate Airlines and Jetconnect.
  • S7's Globus.

For more information on OpenSkies

About oneworld

oneworld aims to be the first choice airline alliance for the world's frequent international travellers.   It brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business - airberlin, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN, Qantas, Royal Jordanian and S7 Airlines, and around 30 affiliates.  Malaysia Airlines will join on 1 February 2013, followed by SriLankan Airlines later in 2013 and then Qatar Airways. 

Between them, oneworld's member airlines and members elect:

  • Serve some 860 airports in almost 160 countries, with more than 9 300 daily departures.
  • Offer some 550 airport lounges for premium customers.
  • Carry almost a million passengers a day on a combined fleet of more than 2 500 aircraft.
  • Generate nearly US$ 120 billion annual revenues in total.

oneworld 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 also offers more alliance fares than any of its competitors. 

oneworld is current holder of three leading international awards for airline alliances - named the Best Airline Alliance by Global Traveler in its GT Tested Reader Survey 2011 Awards for the second year running, the World's Leading Airline Alliance in the 2011 World Travel Awards, for the ninth consecutive year, and the Best Airline Alliance 2011 in Australian Business Traveller's debut awards.