A regular review of news from oneworld, the leading global airline alliance, and its members.
American CEO Arpey to chair oneworld: American Airlines Chairman and Chief Executive Gerard Arpey has been named Chairman of the Governing Board of oneworld, the leading quality global airline alliance, succeeding Qantas Chief Executive Officer Geoff Dixon, who held the post for two years.
Arpey will act as "first among equals" of the chief executives of the grouping's member airlines, leading oneworld as the alliance marks the tenth anniversary of its launch this coming February, and as Mexicana joins as its newest member, along with its affiliate Click Mexicana, later in 2009.
Dixon, who retires as Qantas CEO at the end of this week, led oneworld through the alliance's biggest expansion in its history, with the addition in 2007 of Japan Airlines, Malev Hungarian Airlines and Royal Jordanian and, as affiliates, four other airlines in the Japan Airlines group, plus Dragonair, LAN Argentina and LAN Ecuador.
Affiliate Sun-Air opens oneworld's first domestic Norwegian route: oneworld is now offering domestic flights within Norway through alliance affiliate Sun-Air, which flies in Scandinavia as an affiliate of British Airways. Sun-Air has added Stord to the alliance's network and is serving the Norwegian west coast port, which has the three-letter IATA code 'SRP', from both Oslo and from Aarhus in Denmark.
Flight status alerts now available at oneworld.com: Passengers on oneworld member airlines can now sign up to be alerted to their status of their flights by email via oneworld.com.
American Airlines moves terminals at Raleigh/Durham: American Airlines has relocated operations at Raleigh/Durham to its new Terminal 2 from Terminal C. American now occupies eight of the north concourse's 19 gates, with 12 ticket counter positions and 12 self-service check-in kiosks. American has also opened a new Admirals Club lounge. Together with its American Eagle regional affiliate, American operates more than 50 daily departures from the airport.
Upgrades to oneworld's Tokyo Narita Terminal 2 hub complete: A $170 million program of improvements at oneworld's Tokyo Narita Terminal 2 hub has now been completed, with the facility's entire check-in area refurbished, a new security screening process introduced, and easier-to-read flight information displays installed.
American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Finnair and Qantas all operate alongside Japan Airlines from the terminal, with their check-in desks centrally located close to the entrance to security screening. All offer their premium customers completely new or enhanced departure lounges.
In line with the upgrading of the building, minimum connecting times (MCTs) between most oneworld flights have also been reduced:
-- From Japan Airlines' domestic flights to its own international services, along with those operated by American, MCT is now just 60 minutes.
-- Between American and JAL's international flights, MCT is now 70 minutes.
-- From American's international to JAL's domestic flights is now 90 minutes.
From JAL's domestic arrivals to departures by other oneworld partners in the terminal is now 100 minutes.
American enables customers to buy tickets on AA.com using PayPal: American Airlines is now allowing customers in the United States to use PayPal to pay for tickets on AA.com.
BA completes its move into London Heathrow Terminal 5: British Airways has completed its move into its new London Heathrow home with the final phase of its transfer of operations into Terminal 5.
The only BA services remaining at Terminal 4 are its flights to Australia, via Bangkok and Singapore, which will move, along with Qantas operations, to Terminal 3 during 2009. The final BA operations in Terminal 1 -- to Barcelona, Helsinki, Lisbon, Madrid and Nice -- are due to switch to Terminal 3 early next year, with Finnair and Iberia also moving to Terminal 3, from Terminals 1 and 2 respectively, at the same time.
American Airlines is already based in Terminal 3, as are fellow oneworld airlines Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and Royal Jordanian.
BA now lets passengers check-in via mobile phones: British Airways customers can now check-in via their mobile phones. The service, at http://www.ba.com/mobile, is available in 11 languages.
Cathay passengers can now print their own boarding passes: Cathay Pacific customers flying from the airline's Hong Kong hub can now print their boarding passes after check-in on-line up to 48 hours before departure.
Iberia website is first to let customers ask where they can fly for how much: Iberia has added a novel new interactive tool to its website, becoming the first airline to enable customers to search where they could fly on a specific budget. The new tool lets customers stipulate when and where they are interested in traveling. Customers need to enter their preferred:
-- Airport of departure.
-- Destination, by geographical area -- such as "Europe" or "Spanish coasts" -- or by city.
-- Dates of departure and return within a range of seven days, or the most advantageous combination available within a 30-day period.
-- Finally, customers need to indicate the maximum amount they are willing to spend on their airfare.
The website instantly displays a map showing the search results, and the customer can make a reservation and buy a ticket from the same page. They can also book a hotel, a rental car, transport to or from an airport, and guided tours at the same time. Members of the airline's Iberia Plus frequent flyer program earn double points for booking this way.
The system is ideal for finding the cheapest flights on upcoming weekends, departing on Fridays and returning on Sundays, with the option of extending the search to include outgoing Thursday flights and/or return flights on Mondays.
JAL posts English-language version of its popular interactive Tokyo map: Japan Airlines (JAL) has posted on http://www.jal.com/ a new English-language version of its popular interactive map of Tokyo. Ideal for both tourists and business travelers to the Japanese capital, the map includes bird's eye views of the city center and surrounding areas, as well as more detailed maps of the major tourist areas, from Akasaka to Ueno. The easy-to-use guide also features a wealth of regularly updated information on where to shop, eat, or stay, and what to see. The map is available on most English-language country and regional sites of http://www.jal.com/
Dragonair adds Hanoi to its network: Affiliate member Dragonair has launched daily service between its Hong Kong hub and Hanoi.
American Airlines recruits British royal family's chef: American Airlines has recruited the former chef to the British royal family to help develop menus for First and Business Class passengers on its flights from Europe. Darren McGrady spent 15 years cooking for Queen Elizabeth II and her family before serving as Private Chef to Diana, Princess of Wales. Dishes he has created for American Airlines include a range of British favorites with international appeal, such as cottage pie, stuffed chicken and oatmeal-crusted pork.
Finnair to increase Tokyo frequencies to daily: Finnair will increase frequency between its Helsinki home and the Tokyo Narita hub of oneworld partner Japan Airlines to daily service starting in 2010. Finnair currently operates four flights a week to Narita. At the same time, Finnair has reaffirmed plans to serve all its Asian gateways with daily flights.
Royal Jordanian to reopen Brussels route: Royal Jordanian will resume flights to Brussels on April 1 after a six-year break. Royal Jordanian will operate two weekly nonstop flights to the Belgian capital from its Amman hub, using Airbus A319 aircraft. Brussels is already on the oneworld network through services by American Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia, and Malev Hungarian Airlines.
BA to add third daily flight to Budapest base of oneworld partner Malev: British Airways will add a third daily flight between its London Heathrow hub and the Budapest base of oneworld partner Malev starting in late March. BA will also add daily flights between London Heathrow and Athens, Lisbon, Nice, Prague and Rome. In addition, schedules to Dubai will increase from 14 to 20 a week, and to Johannesburg from 14 to 19 a week.
Iberia to increase Central American schedules: Iberia will increase frequency to Guatemala and Panama with a fifth weekly flight starting Jan. 4. The additional flight is part of changes that will increase Iberia's capacity to Central America by 6.5 percent year-over-year.
BA to move Atlanta and Toulouse routes from London Gatwick to Heathrow: British Airways will move its London flights serving Atlanta and Toulouse from Gatwick Airport to its new Heathrow Terminal 5 base starting March 29.
Iberia upgrades domestic Business Class: Iberia is upgrading Business Class on its Spanish domestic flights starting Dec. 1 to a standard more similar to that currently offered on its international shorthaul flights.
On all routes operated by Airbus A319, A320 and A321 aircraft within mainland Spain and serving the Canary and Balearic Islands, the central chair in each block of three seats will be left empty to provide more room and comfort for passengers seated on either side. All chairs are covered in leather with rounded backs designed to maximize comfort and space.
Business Class passengers have a more generous check-in baggage allowance and earn more frequent flyer points. On the ground, they can use Business Class check-in counters and airport lounges.
JAL to offer First Class to Delhi: Japan Airlines will offer a First Class cabin on its flights between its Tokyo Narita hub and Delhi beginning Jan. 11.
Qantas takes oneworld into A380 era: oneworld has entered the Airbus A380 era, with Qantas operating the superjumbo jet to Los Angeles from both Sydney and Melbourne. A380 service to London, via Singapore, will follow in January. The aircraft is configured with 450 seats in four cabins -- 14 seats in First Class, 72 in Business, 32 in Premium Economy and 332 in Economy.
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, Malev Hungarian Airlines, Qantas and Royal Jordanian -- plus more than 20 affiliates, including American Eagle, South Africa's Comair, Dragonair, LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador and LAN Peru. Mexicana will join in 2009, with its subsidiary, Click Mexicana, as an affiliate.
oneworld airlines serve some 700 destinations in 150 countries and offer nearly 550 airport lounges worldwide. Combined, oneworld airlines carried approximately 320 million passengers last year. oneworld is the only alliance with any member airlines based in South America, Asia's Middle East or Australia.
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 airlines, 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.
First Call Analyst:
FCMN Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTACT: Michael Blunt, VP Corp Comms of oneworld, +44 7789 612712,
email@example.com; or Corporate Communications of American Airlines,