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Qantas CEO Geoff Dixon to chair oneworld Governing Board

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Qantas Chief Executive Officer Geoff Dixon is to serve as Chairman of the Governing Board of oneworld® , the leading quality global airline alliance.

He succeeds Fernando Conte, Chairman and Chief Executive of the alliance's Spanish member Iberia, who has held the position for more than two years.

Geoff Dixon will act as "first among equals" of the chief executives of the grouping's member airlines, with effect from their next meeting, in Los Angeles next week, leading the alliance during the grouping's biggest expansion in its history, with three airlines lining up to join early next year:

  • Japan Airlines, Asia Pacific's biggest airline and the largest carrier in the world not currently part of a global alliance. Five of the group's affiliates will join oneworld along with the mainline JAL itself.
  • Hungary's Malév, which will provide oneworld with an attractive hub in Central and Eastern Europe.
  • Royal Jordanian, the first airline from the Arab world to find a home in a global alliance, and expanding oneworld's network in the Middle East, the world's fastest growing region for air travel.

These airlines will add almost a hundred destinations to oneworld's network, which today covers more than 600 airports in 135 countries, and increase the grouping's annual revenues by a third to US$85 billion (A$112 billion).

oneworld includes some of the biggest and best names in the airline industry. Besides Qantas and Iberia, existing members comprise American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, LAN, Finnair and Aer Lingus plus a dozen affiliates.

Their combined fleet of more than 2,100 aircraft carried almost 260 million passengers last year, with the alliance accounting for around 20 per cent of the world's total airline industry capacity.

For the past few years, oneworld has been the only airline alliance whose members have collectively achieved profits - US$1.8 billion (A$2.4 billion) in their last full year, on revenues totaling US$65 billion (A$86 billion).

One passenger in every 30 they flew last year, and almost four cents in every dollar of revenue they earned, was as a direct result of their co-operation with their various partners within oneworld, with the alliance's fares and sales activities contributing US$650 million in revenues, up 20 per cent on the previous year.

oneworld was last month named the World's Leading Airline Alliance for the fourth year running in the World Travel Awards, the travel industry's biggest award scheme, based on votes cast bysome 170,000 travel professionalsworldwide.

It is the only alliance that enables passengers to transfer between flights of all its member airlines with the convenience of electronic tickets, with interline e-ticketing links completed between the entire grouping in April 2005.

Geoff Dixon's appointment was announced today during a visit to Australia by oneworld Managing Partner John McCulloch, who said: "Under Geoff Dixon's leadership, Qantas has established a worldwide reputation as one of the best managed airlines in the world.

"Fernando Conte will be a tough act to follow, but I am delighted that Geoff has agreed to bring his skills, insight and experience to bear in the wider oneworld arena at this most exciting time in our development since the original launch of the alliance."

About Geoff Dixon

Geoff Dixon was appointed Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Qantas in March 2001, after serving as Deputy Chief Executive Officer from November 1998. He was appointed to Qantas' Board in August 2000.

He joined Qantas in 1994 and has had responsibility in the airline for all its commercial activities, including worldwide sales and marketing, network development, revenue management, fleet planning, cabin crew, customer service, product development and airline alliances.

Previously, he was Director of Marketing and Industry Sales at Ansett Australia and General Manager of Marketing and Corporate Affairs at Australian Airlines. He has also worked in the mining and media industries.

He is a member of the Governing Board of IATA (International Air Transport Association) and the Board of the Business Council of Australia. He also serves as a Director of Publishing and Broadcasting Limited and Air Pacific Limited.

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