World first spa at oneworld hub Helsinki

29 January 2010

Finnair opens unique sauna in Helsinki lounge:  Finnair has opened its new Via Spa in its new lounge at its Helsinki hub - featuring both an Alpine spruce and a stone sauna as well as a traditional Finnish sauna with a view over a mineral water pool to the airport's taxiways.  It is believed to be the only facility of its kind in any airport worldwide.   It is available to top tier cardholders in any oneworld member airline frequent flyer programme.  Other travellers can use its facility for a fee.

Iberia to open its own flights to Amman and Damascus:  Iberia is to launch its own flights between its Madrid base the Amman home of oneworld partner Royal Jordanian.  RJ already operates this route, carrying Iberia's prefix under their code-sharing agreement.  The Spanish airline will now also fly its own aircraft too between the two cities, with an initial single Airbus A319 a week during the summer peak, from 3 July to the end of October.  It will also operate directly between Madrid and Damascus, from 31 July to the end of October, again with a weekly A319.Iberia has also confirmed that it will resume its regular summer seasonal services between Madrid and:

  • Dubrovnik, with four flights a week from 15 June.
  • St Petersburg, twice weekly from 1 June.
  • Washington Dulles,  with three round trips  a week from 29 March.
  • Zagreb, twice-weekly from 3 July.

The Spanish airline has recently increased its capacity and frequencies to a number of key Latin American destinations, including Bogota, Buenos Aires, Havana, Lima and Quito.

Japan Airlines and Mexicana expand code-sharing to more routes:  Japan Airlines has expanded its code-share agreement with oneworld's newest member Mexicana to provide more connections between their home countries.  The JL prefix has now been added to flights operated by Mexicana between Los Angeles and León and between San Francisco and Mexico City.  At the same time, the MX prefix is to be placed on services by JAL between San Francisco and Tokyo Narita.  They have also increased to daily the frequency of their code-share services between Tokyo Narita and Mexico City via Vancouver.  JAL operates the sector between Narita and Vancouver, and Mexicana between the Canadian gateway and its Mexico City hub.  Their code-share agreement now covers JAL-operated flights between Tokyo Narita and Los Angeles, San Francisco and Vancouver, with Mexicana connections serving Cancun, Guadalajara, Los Cabos, Mexico City and now also León.

LAN to add San Francisco as its fourth destination in USA:  LAN is to launch service to San Francisco as its fourth destination in the USA, with flights by its LAN Peru affiliate from its Lima hub from 1 July operated an initial four times a week by Boeing two-class 767-300s, complete with its seats that convert into completely flat beds in Premium Business Class.  It will be the only non-stop between the Californian gateway and South America.  At Lima, it will offer smoothest connections to LAN flights throughout its network, in particular Buenos Aires, Santiago and Sao Paulo along with LANPeru's domestic destinations.  LAN already serves Los Angeles, Miami and New York.  It will be the seventh oneworld carrier operating at San Francisco, joining American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Mexicana and Qantas.

BA to serve two Spanish islands from London City:  British Airways is to open two new routes between London City and Spain's holiday islands from May - serving Ibiza and Majorca's Palma.  Operated by its BA CityFlyer affiliate, both will be served three times a week, with additional frequencies in the mid summer peak.  BA mainline also serves Ibiza from London Gatwick during the summer.  Both airports are also served by Iberia.

Cathay to raise Jeddah frequencies to daily:  Cathay Pacific is increasing frequencies between its Hong Kong hub and Jeddah to daily from 28 March, up from the current four a week - just six months after launching the route.  It will also serve Sapporo daily during the summer peak, in July and August, rather than the usual four weekly round trips.

Qantas flies A380 from Melbourne to London:  Qantas has launched flights using its Airbus A380s from Melbourne to London Heathrow, complementing its existing services with its new flagship from Sydney to the UK airport. 

New Q400 enables QantasLink to up frequencies:  QantasLink is to increase frequencies on a number of its regional routes after adding is 19th Bombardier Q400.

All American flights go cashless from 1 February:  Passengers on all American Airlines flights will only be able to use plastic to pay for any purchase on board from 1 February.  The airline will accept any major credit or debit card - but not cash.  It has been moving progressively cashless in-flight for much of the past year.  Its regional affiliate American Eagle will however continue to accept payment in cash.

LAN orders 30 more A320 types:  LAN Airlines and its affiliates have ordered 30 more Airbus A320 types for delivery between 2011 and 2016 for use on the group's domestic services in Argentina, Chile, Ecuador and Peru and on international routes within Latin America.  The hew aircraft will replace some of its existing models besides providing for growth.

Finnair receives first Airbus A330 with new-style Business cabin:  Finnair has taken delivery of its fifth Airbus A330-300 - its first featuring the airline's new-style longhaul Business Class product, including new lie-flat seats, improved privacy and more seats with direct aisle access.

About oneworld:  oneworld brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business - American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN, Malév Hungarian Airlines, Mexicana, Qantas and Royal Jordanian, and around 20 affiliates including American Eagle, Dragonair, LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador and LAN Peru.  Russia's S7 Airlines will join the alliance in 2010.  Between them, these airlines:

  • Serve almost 750 airports in nearly 150 countries, with some 8 500 daily departures.
  • Offer nearly 550 airport lounges for premium customers.
  • Carry some 330 million passengers a year.
  • Employ 300 000 people.
  • Operate almost 2 500 aircraft.
  • Generate some US$100 billion annual revenues in total.

It is the only alliance with any airlines based in South America, Australia or Asia's Middle East.

The alliance 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 was voted the World's Leading Airline Alliance for the seventh year running in the latest (2009) World Travel Awards.   It is the only winner of this award since it was introduced in 2003.