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aword from oneworld: May

oneworld EXTENDS LEAD AS MOST INTERNATIONAL AIRLINE ALLIANCE: oneworld™ has extended its lead as the most international of the global airline alliances. Latest statistics, based on flying programmes for the northern hemisphere summer flying season, as displayed in the OAG (Official Airlines Guide) "industry bible" compilation of schedules, shows that the eight members of the oneworld alliance currently serve 135 countries and territories - – up one from December with Papua New Guinea added to the alliance's map with Qantas resuming its own services to the islands. The next most international alliance, Star, has seen its country count drop by two to 125, while SkyTeam currently operates to 112 different "countries and territories".

The number of destinations on the oneworld map currently stands at 572, with Burlington rejoining the network as American Eagle resumed services to the Vermont airport twice a day from Chicago O'Hare.

The alliance's combined fleet has grown to above 2,000 – up from 1,876 in January to 2,023 now, with growth of aircraft numbers at Qantas following the demise of Ansett and the inclusion of TWA and AmericanConnection airplanes at AA making up for reductions at most of the other carriers. oneworld airlines – Aer Lingus, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Finnair, Iberia, LanChile and Qantas – are currently operating an average of 8,511 flights a day – equivalent to an arrival or departure every five seconds around the clock.

LANCHILE-QANTAS CODE-SHARE LINKS SANTIAGO AND SYDNEY HUBS: LanChile and Qantas are linking their Santiago and Sydney hubs through a new code-share agreement. LanChile will launch thrice-weekly flights between the Australian and Chilean capitals on 1 July, flying via Auckland, with all services also carrying Qantas' QF codes. Passengers will be able to connect at Santiago with LanChile's extensive South American network, covering Chile, Argentina, Brazil and other countries throughout the region. In Sydney, there will be convenient connections to Qantas Australian domestic and South Pacific timetable.

AA AND LANCHILE EXPAND CODE-SHARING TO FIVE MORE US ROUTES: LanChile and American Airlines are to expand their code-sharing agreement to cover another five US routes, making travel easier between South America and the USA. From 8 May, the LA code has been added to AA flights between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Oakland, Phoenix, San Diego and San Jose. LanChile flies daily services between Los Angeles and Santiago.

NEW TOKYO ROUTES OPENED FROM JFK AND MELBOURNE: American Airlines has launched daily non-stop Boeing 777 flights between New York JFK and Tokyo Narita, which becomes becomes the 19th international city and the 41st non-stop destination offered by the airline from the airport, where it is currently building a new US$1.3 billion, 55-gate terminal. Qantas launches new, daily services between Melbourne and Tokyo Narita on 1 July, using Boeing 767-300s. Northbound, four of the flights will be non-stop, with the remaining three operating via Sydney, while all southbound services will be non-stop. It will take the number of Qantas flights between Australia and Japan to 54 a week.

AER LINGUS MOVES ALONGSIDE BA AT LONDON GATWICK: Transfers between Aer Lingus' Irish flights and the British Airways network at London Gatwick have become a great deal easier with the transfer of the Irish carrier's operations from the South to the North Terminal.

AMERICAN TO ADD VANCOUVER FLIGHTS FROM CHICAG American Airlines is to fly to Vancouver from a third point in the USA, linking the British Columbian city with its Chicago O'Hare hub from 15 June through to the end of September, with daily, non-stop flights. AA already serves Vancouver from its Dallas/Fort Worth and St Louis hubs. The city is also on-line to British Airways from London, and Cathay Pacific, flying from Hong Kong and on to New York JFK.

QANTAS BUILDS NEW ZEALAND FLIGHTS TO A HUNDRED A WEEK: Qantas is to add another nine return services between Australia and New Zealand from 1 July, taking the number of return flights operated by the airline between the two countries to more than a hundred a week:
Three additional return services a week between Sydney and Christchurch.
Another three weekly frequencies between Melbourne and Christchurch
Two more weekly flights between Melbourne and Auckland.
One increased frequency between Sydney and Auckland.

IBERIA TAKES DELIVERY OF MORE NEW AIRCRAFT: Iberia continues with its fleet modernization programme, with the delivery of two new Airbus A320s with a third along with an A340 to follow this month as it retires three older A300s. With an average aircraft age of around seven years, the Spanish airline has one of the youngest fleets in Europe.

AA TO UP-GRADE FIRST CABINS ACROSS FOKKERS FLEET: American Airlines is to install new seats and increase legroom in the first class cabin of the 74 Fokker F100s in its fleet. Seat pitch will be extended from the current 38 inches to 40 inches, with the new seats featuring the first lumbar support pillow installed on AA's domestic, narrow-bodied aircraft, a larger cocktail tray table and other improvements.

CATHAY BUILDS BACK NORTH AMERICAN SERVICES: Cathay Pacific will reinstate its double-daily, non-stop Boeing 747-400 service between Hong Kong and Los Angeles on 1 August, after increasing the current daily flights to ten a week from 1 June. Frequencies between Hong Kong and Vancouver will rise from 11 to 14 a week from 1 July, with Boeing 747-400s replacing smaller Airbus A340-300s on its San Francisco flights at the same time.
AER LINGUS LAUNCHES FLIGHTS TO FAR Aer Lingus launches weekly flights between Dublin and Faro on 3 June – its fifth new destination so far this year.

LANEXPRESS INTRODUCES INTERNET CHECK-IN: Passengers flying LanExpress, the LanChile regional and oneworld affiliate, can now check-in via the internet, printing out a copy of their boarding pass directly from LanChile's website, www.lanchile.com, enabling them to embark directly without having to go through airport check-in counters.

AA INTRODUCES MEDELLIN LINK: American Airlines will begin non-stop services between Miami International and Medellin, in Colombia, on 15 June, flying Boeing 757-200s five times a week. It will be the airline's third destination in Colombia, with Bogota and Cali already on its network map.

FINNAIR RESTORES DAILY NEW YORK FLIGHTS: Finnair has restored its New York frequencies to daily, adding back two weekly services after reducing capacity on the route following 11 September. At JFK, it operates at American Airlines' JFK terminal, with AA connections to and from many points across the USA.


For further media information
oneworld Michael Blunt, PR +44 7831 376595 +44 20 8738 5173 www.oneworld.com
Aer Lingus Media Relations +353 1 886 2573 www.aerlingus.com
American Airlines Corporate Communications +1 817 967 1577 www.amrcorp.com
British Airways Press Office + 44 20 8738 5100 www.britishairways.com/press
Cathay Pacific Corporate Communications + 852 2747 5378 www.cathaypacific.com
Finnair Corporate Communications + 358 981 84970 www.finnair.com
Iberia Communications + 34 91 587 7462 www.iberia.com
LanChile Communications + 562 565 2863 www.lanchile.com
Qantas Public Affairs + 61 2 9691 3468 www.qantas.com