aword from oneworld: January 200818 January 2008
oneworld lounge counts rises to almost 550: oneworld now offers its premium customers access to almost 550 lounges worldwide - 527 to be precise, which is 66 more than at the last count, some six months ago. The addition of Dragonair to the alliance, as an affiliate, on 1 November is the main factor behind the increase, taking the overall number of lounges offered by the Cathay Pacific group, of which it is part, up to 70, from 41 at the last count.
One carry-on bag rule lifted from London Heathrow: The one-bag carry-on restriction for passengers departing from London Heathrow and some other UK airports has been lifted - but it remains in force for now at London Gatwick and some other British gateways. Besides LHR, other airports where the one-bag rule has been dropped include London City, London Stansted, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle.
British Airways is now allowing passengers flying from and through these airports to take on board two pieces of hand baggage - one bag measuring a maximum of 56 cm x 45 cm x 25 cm (22 ins x 17.5 ins x 9.85 ins), including wheels, pockets and handles, plus one briefcase or laptop-sized bag. The two items must weigh less than 23 kg, and passengers must be able to lift their own bags into overhead lockers themselves.
Restrictions still apply on the quantity of liquids allowed through UK airport security. All liquid containers must not exceed 100ml – even for passengers transferring between flights - and must be carried in a clear, resealable plastic bag that can be easily closed.
Cathay Pacific, Dragonair first Asian airlines to offer carbon offset scheme: Cathay Pacific and Dragonair, which is now also part of oneworld, have become first airlines in Asia to launch a voluntary carbon offset scheme for their passengers.
While British Airways and Qantas already had their own offset schemes in place, Cathay Pacific and Dragonair are the first airlines in the world to enable customers the option of using cash or frequent flyer miles to pay for their offsets.
To offset their travel, passengers can access the "FLY greener" site at the Cathay Pacific or Dragonair websites and use the online calculator to work how much it will cost to offset their emissions based on the distance of their flight and the class of travel.
India's Hyderabad and Colorado's Grand Junction to join oneworld network: Hyderabad will be oneworld's sixth destination in India when British Airways launches services to the city from its London Heathrow hub from 27 October with an initial five Boeing 777 non-stops a week. Grand Junction will be the seventh airport in the US state of Colorado on the oneworld map when American Eagle, the regional affiliate of American Airlines, begins flights to the city from its Dallas/Fort Worth hub from 7 April, with twice-daily 50-seat Embraer ERJ140s.
LAN launches its new Business Express premium cabin on shorthaul routes: LAN has introduced its new Business Express class for its flights within South America. It is the first time any carrier in Latin American has offered a European-style business class service on flights within the region.
The group's Airbus A320s are being reconfigured to provide 12 seats in the new cabin, each offering around 50 per cent more space than in Economy. Designed to save passengers as much time as possible and to smooth their journeys, it includes dedicated check-in desks, lounge access, preferential boarding, disembarkation and baggage delivery. Tickets enable customers to change the date and time of their flight up to two hours before departure.
It is currently available on the airline's services from Lima to Quito, Bogotá, and Caracas, and will be extended across its shorthaul network in the year ahead.
Royal Jordanian to link its Amman home with oneworld hub Hong Kong: Royal Jordanian is opening services between its Amman home and the Hong Kong hub of oneworld partner Cathay Pacific from 22 January with an initial three flights a week as an extension of its existing route to Bangkok.
JAL set to extend Premium Economy cabin to Frankfurt: Japan Airlines is extending its JAL Premium Economy fourth cabin to its Frankfurt-Tokyo Narita route from 3 February. It was launched on Tokyo Narita-London Heathrow on 1 December.
Cathay to increase Vancouver frequencies to three every day: Cathay Pacific is increasing frequencies between its Hong Kong hub and Vancouver, home base of the central oneworld alliance team, adding another four round tips a week from late March to give three services every day. The airline added three weekly frequencies on the routes only four months ago.
Qantas to add more flights to Hong Kong and Canberra: Qantas plans to add three more weekly frequencies between Melbourne and Hong Kong from 1 April, giving a total of ten a week. The additional flights, which are subject to regulatory approval, will be by two-class Airbus A330-300s, while the established seven will continue to be operated by three-class Boeing 747-400s. Qantas will also add more flights on its routes serving Canberra from both Sydney and Melbourne from March. The Sydney route will see another 15 flights a week, giving a total of 157 a week, while Melbourne will have 11 more a week, with four more from June, giving a total of 89.
oneworld in brief: 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, Qantas and Royal Jordanian, plus some 20 affiliates, including, from 1 November 2007, China's Dragonair.
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 is the only alliance to enable passengers to fly throughout its network, on any combination of carriers, using just electronic tickets.
oneworld was voted the World's Leading Airline Alliance for the fifth year running in the 2007 World Travel Awards, based on votes cast by some 170,000 travel professionals, including more than 110,000 travel agents in 200 countries.