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oneworld airline alliance to raise funds for children around the world

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Members of the oneworld™ global airline alliance and UNICEF today announced a major initiative designed to raise funds to help children around the world.

Through the "oneworld alliance for UNICEF," the seven airlines have adopted UNICEF as oneworld's global charity. They have pledged to support UNICEF through the Change for Good® programme and other fund-raising efforts, and will increase awareness of UNICEF through the use of in-flight magazines and videos.

oneworld members expect to raise US$25 million for UNICEF over the next five years through Change for Good and other fund-raising activities. Future members of oneworld will be required to participate in the Change for Good programme as one of the conditions for oneworld membership.

Don Carty, Chairman and Chief Executive of American Airlines and current chairman of the alliance's Governing Board, said: "At oneworld, we are all committed to providing our customers the best travel experience possible all around the world. We are just as committed to making the world a better place, especially for children.

"We salute UNICEF for its many years of outstanding service on behalf of children, who are the key to our future, and today we ask our customers to join us in supporting those efforts."

Charles J. Lyons, President of the US Committee for UNICEF, said: "Every coin and currency makes a difference for children. The alliance with oneworld will help UNICEF improve children's lives and ensure tangible results for kids -- like the near eradication of polio, improved access to health care, basic education and proper nutrition. UNICEF applauds the commitment of oneworld members, and the progress they make possible for children around the world."

Flight attendants have been collecting UNICEF Change for Good on board international flights since 1987. Customers are encouraged to empty their pockets of surplus coins and paper currency, which is then donated to UNICEF to buy life-saving materials and services for the world's neediest children. Participating airlines work with their national UNICEF teams to determine in which countries the funds will be used.

In 1991, Australia's Qantas Airways gave UNICEF's Change for Good a boost when it became the first oneworld airline to participate in the programme. Since then, participating Change for Good airlines have collected more than US$24 million, with oneworld member airlines collecting more than 90 per cdent of the total since 1991. British Airways alone has collected nearly US$14 million, and Cathay Pacific collects more Change for Good than any other airline in Asia.

oneworld members will also collect funds for UNICEF through other fund-raising efforts of their choice. For instance, an airline could ask customers to make a contribution every time they make a booking via the Internet, or ask customers to "round up" to the next whole dollar or pound for credit card charges. Airlines could offer frequent flyer miles or points in exchange for donations, or sponsor contests to encourage customers and employees to donate to UNICEF. Each oneworld airline may choose whatever fund-raising methods it believes will work best, while retaining Change for Good as its core UNICEF fundraising activity.

The airlines will also promote UNICEF onboard their aircraft by placing advertisements and feature articles in their in-flight magazines.

oneworld is an alliance among seven of the world's leading airlines – American Airlines, British Airways, Canadian Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia and Qantas. Aer Lingus and LanChile have been invited to join the alliance and plan to start offering oneworld benefits and services during 2000. Members work together to provide customers smoother transfers at key airports, access to more than 300 airport lounges around the world, enhanced opportunities to earn and redeem frequent flyer miles and global customer assistance.

For further information about UNICEF programs, call 1-800-FOR-KIDS, or write to the U.S. Committee for UNICEF, 333 East 38 Street, New York, NY 10016, or access the U.S. Committee for UNICEF's website at http://www.unicefusa.org.

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