More oneworld destinations, routes, services - and awards08 December 2009
American to boost schedules at main hubs: American Airlines and its American Eagle regional affiliate are to increase their networks and schedules from their key hubs - Dallas/Fort Worth, Chicago O'Hare, Miami and New York -adding six new destinations to the oneworld map during the next flying season.
At Chicago, the group will add 57 daily departures, making a total of 487, and open service to 12 new domestic destinations and three new international cities, including Beijing and Vancouver. Domestically, it will open service to six new oneworld destinations: Allentown, Pennsylvania (which has the three-letter IATA code ABE); Fargo, North Dakota (FAR); Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (MDT); Rapid City, South Dakota (RAP); Scranton-Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania (AVP), and Sioux Falls, South Dakota (FSD). It will also open five new routes from Chicago to destinations already on the oneworld® map - Calgary, Charleston, Dayton, Jacksonville and Lexington.
From New York JFK, it will add new mainline service to Madrid and Manchester, along with San Jose (Costa Rica) and Austin. American Eagle will launch flights to Colombus and St Louis.
From Dallas/Fort Worth, the group will add 19 daily departures, making a total of 780. This will include the resumption of flights to San Salvador, El Salvador.
Miami will see 23 more daily departures, giving a total of 294. It will inaugurate routes to four other domestic destinations already on the oneworld map - Birmingham, Charleston, Pensacola and Knoxville.
The strategic shift means the group will reduce operations at St Louis and Raleigh/Durham. St Louis will see 46 fewer daily departures with service discontinued to 20 destinations, leaving the group's network from the city at 36 daily departures to nine destinations. From Raleigh/Durham, it will suspend service to three destinations and eliminate nine departures, leaving 44 daily flights to eight destinations.
Mexicana to add Washington Dulles and San Juan to its network: Mexicana, which joined oneworld last month, is to add two new destinations to its network, with the launch of flights to Washington Dulles and San Juan (Puerto Rico). It will serve both destinations from Cancun from 14 December, as part of an overall expansion of operations from the hub. The move will also see the airline open four other international routes from Cancun, to destinations already on its map - Bogota, Guatemala, El Salvador and San Jose (Costa Rica). It already offers five international routes from Cancun, serving Chicago, Havana, Los Angeles, Miami and New York.
Malév to return to Belgrade after break of two decades: Malév Hungarian Airlines is to resume services to Serbia after an "enforced break" of nearly two decades. The airline suspended all flights to Serbian capital Belgrade in 1992, on the outbreak of the Yugoslav wars. Until then, it had had been one of the airline's most popular routes. It will start flying again between the city and its Budapest hub from 14 December with an initial daily Bombardier Q400. It joins oneworld partner British Airways in serving Belgrade.
Cathay Pacific to be eighth oneworld member to serve Milan: Cathay Pacific is to open services to Milan and increase frequencies to Los Angeles and Toronto. Its new Milan Malpensa route will be launched on 28 March, with an initial four three-class Boeing 777-300ERs a week, in addition to its daily flights to Rome. It joins American Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Malév and Royal Jordanian in serving the Italian city. Also from 28 March, Cathay Pacific will add three flights a week to Toronto, on top of its current daily schedule. From 1 May, it will up Los Angeles services by three a week also, giving 17 a week.
Qantas to link Canberra and Darwin non-stop: Qantas is to launch non-stops between Canberra and Darwin from February with three Boeing 737-800 a week.
Iberia Plus members can now book reward flights on Malév on-line: Members of Iberia Plus, the Spanish airline's frequent flyer programme, can now book redemption flights on Malév Hungarian Airlines on-line via iberia.com Reward flights on five other oneworld could already be booked via Iberia.com - American Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, LAN and Qantas. oneworld aims to be the first of the global alliances to enable members of all its member airlines' frequent flyer programmes to book on-line redemption flights on all the alliance's carriers.
JAL to share BA lounges at London Heathrow: Japan Airlines is to share British Airways new lounges - Galleries First and Galleries Club - at London Heathrow Terminal 3 from 14 December, when JAL will close its own separate First Class and executive class Sakura Lounges. BA's new facilities at Terminal 3 include showers, a well-equipped business centre, free wifi internet access, drinks and food. Terminal 3 is base for all oneworld member airlines serving London Heathrow, with BA splitting its operation between the building and Terminal 5.
Qantas to roll out next generation check-in procedures: Qantas is to introduce next generation check-in procedures from next year, covering initially its key domestic airports, by adapting its frequent flyer cards to act also as e-boarding cards. Qantas Frequent Flyers' cards will be embedded with an intelligent chip, transforming them into personal boarding passes with customers also provided with permanent electronic tabs for their check-in bags. To check in, passengers will simply need to swipe their frequent flyer card on a reader and head to a simplified baggage drop, or straight through security to their departure gate or Qantas lounge. The airline says this will halve check-in times for customers at CityFlyer ports across Australia.
Finnair opens fast track through security for premium passengers at Helsinki: A new fast lane through security has been opened at Finnair's Helsinki hub for Business Class passengers and Emerald, Sapphire and Ruby tier members of any oneworld member airline's frequent flyer programme. The new priority lane is open at peak times - 6 t0 9 am and 2.30 to 5.30 pm on weekdays, and 2.30 to 5.30 pm on Sundays.
Iberia and Finnair now let passengers from London check-in in city centre: Finnair and Iberia are two of just four airlines enabling passengers to check-in using new self-service kiosks at London's Paddington rail station, before they board the Heathrow Express fast trains to London Heathrow. The other airlines offering the service are SkyTeam's Delta and Star's United. Trains depart from Paddington for Heathrow every 15 minutes and complete the trip in 15 minutes.
Qantas' Airbus A330-200 enters commercial service on domestic: Qantas has introduced the first of its brand new Airbus A330-200s to its domestic network, offering passengers new seating and personal on-demand in-flight entertainment in all cabins. Chief Executive Alan Joyce said the aircraft represented "a new era of flying for the Qantas domestic experience". The in-flight entertainment system, delivered through touch-screen technology, offers more than 500 entertainment options including movies, TV programmes, a CD library, games, a dedicated children's section, plus Qantas Lonely Planet Guides.
Finnair to let passengers from UK airports use mobile phones to board: Finnair has extended its text message check-in service to departures from London Heathrow and Manchester, enabling members of its Finnair Plus loyalty programme traveling with carry-on baggage only to use their mobile phones effectively as boarding passes.
American offers wifi widget to identify which flights offer internet: American Airlines is now offering a "wi-fi widget" that enables customers to identify flights that will offer its in-flight internet access 24 hours before departure. It can be downloaded from aa.com/wifiwidget
Iberia starts installing seats that convert into fully flat beds: Iberia is to replace the current lie-flat seat beds in its longhaul Business Plus cabins with upgraded versions that recline to a fully flat horizontal position. It will remove an entire row to provide passengers with more room, increasing the space seats by more than 30 cm, to 183 cm. The arrangement and style of the seats will provide each passenger with a flat bed 2.2 metres long. The new configuration has already been fitted out on 12 aircraft, with its entire longhaul fleet to be completed by the beginning of 2010.
JAL offers Premium Economy on Sydney route: Japan Airlines has introduced its Premium Economy cabin on its flights between Tokyo Narita and Sydney, with its JAL Sky Shell Seat - the world's first Premium Economy shell-shaped seat, providing 20 per cent more leg room than regular Economy.
Cathay Pacific lets Economy passengers book seats with extra leg room: Cathay Pacific now enables Economy Class passengers to reserve seats with extra leg room for an additional charge. Previously these seats could only be booked by higher tier members of its frequent flyer programme or those buying tickets in the highest booking classes. All customers can now secure an "extra leg room" seat on longhaul flights by paying US$100 per sector, or by redeeming 20,000 Asia Miles. From 1 January, "extra leg room" seats will be bookable on the airline's flights to and from Mainland China and regional destinations, for US$25 or 5,000 Asia Miles. Top tier members of its Marco Polo Club loyalty programme (silver tier and above) will still be able to book these seats for no additional charge. The seats will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.
BA, LAN and Qantas lead oneworld honours in OAG awards: LAN and Qantas have been named Best Airline Based in Central, South America and Caribbean and in Australia/Pacific in the 2009 OAG Airline Industry Awards, with British Airways gaining the trophy for Best Economy/Coach class. That gave oneworld three top award winners and 18 runners-up places - proportionately a higher number of honours than airlines in any other alliance.
RJ is ninth oneworld member to commit to Amadeus for its main IT platform: Royal Jordanian is to become the ninth oneworld member airline to migrate its main IT systems to Amadeus Altea, leaving just American Airlines and Japan Airlines on different platforms. It will adopt Amadeus Altea's full customer management and ecommerce suite of solutions to manage its reservations, inventory and departure control from a single, new generation technology platform. British Airways, Finnair, Iberia, LAN, Malév and Qantas have long been Amadeus customers. Mexicana has just completed its move to the platform, while Cathay Pacific is to switch to it.
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.