Russia's S7 Airlines to join oneworld alliance26 May 2009
Russia's leading domestic airline, S7 Airlines, is to join oneworld®, the world's leading quality airline alliance.
After being unanimously elected on board by the grouping's existing ten member airlines, which include some of the best and biggest names in the industry, S7 will become part of oneworld, offering the alliance's full range of services, benefits and fares, during 2010.
As a first step, its network will be added from 1 June to the Global Explorer round-the-world fare offered by all oneworld member airlines and selected carriers that are not part of the alliance.
British Airways will support S7 through its 18-month alliance implementation programme, as its oneworld sponsor.
Its addition to oneworld will link one of the most extensive networks covering Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, with oneworld's unrivalled global network, as the only alliance including airlines based on every continent.
S7 serves 72 destinations worldwide - 38 of them in Russia. It will add 54 cities to the oneworld map - 35 of them in Russia. It will bring eight countries onto the alliance's network - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
This will expand oneworld's network to nearly 750 destinations in almost 150 countries, served by a combined fleet of 2,300 aircraft operating almost 8,500 flights a day, carrying more than 330 million passengers a year.
S7 is Russia's leading airline in terms of domestic passenger carryings, customer service quality and innovation. It is majority privately owned.
It is the first carrier in Russia to convert to an all Western-built Airbus and Boeing fleet and the first to adopt full electronic ticketing and on-line reservations and sales. It holds the internationally recognised IOSA (International Air Transport Association Operational Safety Audit) certification, renewed in October 2008.
It offers two-class in-flight product to international standards on all departures - Business Class and Economy.
Its fleet, decorated in a distinctive bright green livery, includes 26 Airbus A320 family types, seven Airbus A310 and two Boeing 767s, with an average age of nine years.
S7 carried 6 million passengers in 2008, with a bigger share of the domestic Russian air travel market than any other airline. Including its international network, it is Russia's second biggest carrier.
S7's main hub Moscow Domodedovo - the capital's most modern airport - is served also by oneworld members American Airlines, British Airways, Iberia, Japan Airlines and Royal Jordanian. Its secondary hubs are Novosibirsk and Irkutsk. Its international destinations include oneworld hubs Madrid and Bangkok.
Besides Moscow Domodedovo, oneworld's existing members currently serve three other destinations in Russia - Moscow Sheremetyevo, St Petersburg and Yekaterinburg.
In the months ahead, S7 will adapt key internal processes into line with oneworld requirements, link its IT systems to those of its oneworld partners and carry out an extensive employee training and communications programmes to ensure that S7 employees worldwide are ready to provide oneworld's customer services and benefits from day one.
An exact date will be confirmed for it to join during 2010, once all its pre-joining requirements are sufficiently progressed.
Willie Walsh, Chief Executive of British Airways, S7's oneworld sponsor, said: "S7 is a perfect fit for oneworld. It has a strong focus on customer service and safety and its network will be able to integrate effectively with the existing oneworld network. oneworld's priority is the quality rather than quantity of member airlines, which is why British Airways is delighted to be developing our relationship with S7 further by acting as its sponsor into the alliance."
oneworld Managing Partner John McCulloch added: "S7 fills one of oneworld's few remaining membership ‘white spaces' with a carrier that matches our alliance's demanding quality requirements. It will expand oneworld's presence substantially in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, while enabling S7 to offer its customers a truly global network on quality partners. We are delighted to welcome them to the oneworld alliance."
S7 Chief Executive Vladimir Obyedkov said: "S7 Airlines is delighted to be joining the world's leading quality global airline alliance. Becoming part of oneworld is one of the most significant steps in S7's history. It will enable us to offer our customers a truly global network served by partners who include some of the best known and most admired airlines in the world, while our frequent flyers will have more opportunities to earn and redeem mileage rewards and enjoy all their other benefits. It will also strengthen us financially, through revenues from passengers transferring to our network from our oneworld partners and the cost reduction opportunities the alliance offers."
A selection of print quality images of S7 and its logo can be downloaded from www.oneworld.com/ow/news-and-information/gallery/list?categoryID=4&subCategoryID=11
A selection of print quality images and logos for oneworld and its existing member airlines can be downloaded from www.oneworld.com/ow/news-and-information/corporate-image-galleryMore about S7 Airlines
S7 is one the most progressive airlines in Russia giving passengers new standards of service, supported by the use of latest technology. Tracing its origins back to 1957, it changed its brand name from Sibir Airlines three years ago with a radical rebranding to make it stand out from its competitors as customer-friendly, quality, modern carrier - winning the annual national award "People's mark / Brand No 1 in Russia".
The airline generated profits of US$108 million (operating) and US$3 million (net) in 2008 on revenues of US$1.7 billion. S7 employs 3,354 staff and uses SITA as its main IT platform.
It has bilateral sales links already with all oneworld partners serving its Moscow Domodedovo hub - American Airlines, British Airways, Iberia, Japan Airlines and Royal Jordanian.
Its biggest shareholder is Natalia Fileva, with a 64 per cent holding. Other private investors own a further 11 per cent stake with the remaining 25 per cent state-owned.
Its charter subsidiary Globus will not be covered by the oneworld agreement.
S7's English-language website is www.s7.ru/en/index.html It also has websites in Russian and German.
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, and around 20 affiliates including American Eagle, Dragonair, LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador and LAN Peru. Mexicana and its affiliate Click Mexicana will join the alliance in 2009.
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 sixth year running in the latest (2008) World Travel Awards. It is the only winner of this award since it was introduced in 2003.
About Global Explorer
Besides the networks of all existing oneworld member airlines and member elect Mexicana, the Global Explorer round-the-world fare also includes a number of airlines with no other oneworld links - Aer Lingus, Air Pacific, Alaska Airlines and its Horizon Airlines sister, and Gulf Air. Flights carrying the Qantas code but operated by Air Niugini, Air Tahiti Nui, Air Vanuatu, Air Vietnam, Aircalin and South African Airways are included too.
It offers simple, flexible, and great value round-the-world travel for trips of up to one year long. Four versions are available, covering differing lengths of journeys. For more details, see www.oneworld.com/ow/air-travel-options/round-the-world-fares/global-explorer
It is one of two round-the-world fares offered by oneworld. Its other round-the-world fare is oneworld Explorer. This includes travel on the alliance's existing member airlines and affiliates only. Uniquely, prices are based on the number of continents visited, rather than on the distance flown. It is the only round-the-world fare that can be bought on-line.