Dragonair, regularly named in customer surveys as the best airline serving China, will join oneworld® as an affiliate member on Nov. 1, the airline alliance has announced.
Hong Kong-based Dragonair serves more destinations in Mainland China -- 19 in total -- than any other airline not based there, with approximately 400 flights a week.
Twelve of Dragonair's destinations will be new to the oneworld network -- Chongqing, Changsha, Chengdu, Fuzhou, Haikou, Kunming, Guilin, Ningbo, Nanjing, Shenyang, Sanya and Wuhan. With their addition, oneworld will serve a total of 22 destinations in Mainland China.
Elsewhere, Dragonair will add Kota Kinabalu (Malaysia), Phnom Penh (Cambodia) and Phuket (Thailand) to the alliance map. By adding Phnom Penh, oneworld will bring one new country to the alliance -- Cambodia.
Dragonair's addition to oneworld means that effective Nov. 1, members of the American Airlines AAdvantage® program will be able to earn elite qualifying miles and points, as well as redeem their AAdvantage miles, on Dragonair flights. Members of other oneworld airlines frequent flyer programs will also be able to earn and redeem miles on Dragonair.
Likewise, Dragonair frequent flyers will be able to earn and redeem mileage awards on all oneworld airlines, including American Airlines. Top-tier members will have access to the 500 airport lounges worldwide offered by the alliance's airlines.
"Since its launch eight years ago, oneworld has been the only alliance with a member from greater China, in our Hong Kong-based founder member Cathay Pacific," said oneworld Managing Partner John McCulloch. "The addition of Dragonair means that oneworld will maintain its lead in this important, fast-growing region. With our combination of Dragonair, Cathay Pacific and the award-winning Hong Kong hub, it means that oneworld will offer the best quality airline service for travel to or from the whole of China."
Dragonair was elected on board oneworld late last year, following its integration with alliance founding member Cathay Pacific Airways. While it is now part of the Cathay Pacific group, Dragonair has retained its own brand and identity, market positioning and separate "KA" flight code.
"We are delighted that Dragonair will become an affiliate member of oneworld, offering alliance passengers greater access to a wider range of destinations in Mainland China," said Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Tony Tyler. "As one of the founder members of oneworld, Cathay Pacific recognizes the value of being part of this grouping of high-quality airlines and we are sure Dragonair's joining will add value for alliance customers and fellow member airlines alike."
Dragonair Chief Executive Officer Kenny Tang added, "Becoming an affiliate member of oneworld is an exciting development for Dragonair and is yet another benefit to result from our joining the Cathay Pacific group. We are pleased that oneworld customers will be able to connect through Hong Kong to our extensive network of destinations in Mainland China, along with the other business and leisure destinations we serve within the Asia Pacific region."
Dragonair will be the 11th airline to join oneworld this year, in the alliance's biggest expansion program since its launch. Japan Airlines and five of its affiliates, as well as Malev Hungarian Airlines and Royal Jordanian Airlines, all joined on April 1 of this year, along with LAN Airlines affiliates LAN Argentina and LAN Ecuador.
Dragonair's addition to oneworld is expected to be completed before competing airline alliances bring their Chinese members-elect on board.
Dragonair, named "Best Airline -- China" for the sixth year running in the latest international Skytrax passenger survey, operates scheduled service to 19 destinations in Mainland China from its Hong Kong base -- more than any other non-Mainland carrier -- with approximately 400 flights a week.
It also offers scheduled passenger service to Taipei and Kaohsiung in Taiwan, Phnom Penh in Cambodia, Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia, Dhaka in Bangladesh, Phuket in Thailand, and Busan in Korea. Beginning Oct. 28, it will inaugurate flights to Fukuoka and Sendai in Japan, in place of its existing Tokyo Narita route.
The airline operates a fleet of 15 Airbus A330-300s, six A321s and ten A320s, plus four Boeing 747-200/300 freighters and two 747-400 Boeing converted freighters.
Its passenger aircraft feature two- and three-class cabins, with First Class offering lie-flat seats. It provides high quality in-flight entertainment in a selection of languages throughout its aircraft.
In 2006, the airline flew just over 5.5 million passengers. It employs 3,600 staff worldwide.
Dragonair launched operations 22 years ago with a Boeing 737-200 leaving Hong Kong for Kota Kinabalu. It became a wholly owned subsidiary of Cathay Pacific Airways on Sept. 28, 2006.
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 some 20 affiliates.
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 airline alliance with a truly global network, as the only grouping with member airlines in the Americas south of Mexico, in the Middle East and in Australia.
With Dragonair, oneworld's network serves some 700 destinations in approximately 150 countries with nearly 9,500 departures a day. The combined fleet numbers some 2,500 aircraft, carrying 320 million passengers a year.
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 fourth year running in the latest World Travel Awards, based on votes cast by some 170,000 travel professionals, including more than 110,000 travel agents in 200 countries.
Besides Cathay Pacific and Dragonair, Hong Kong is served by oneworld partners British Airways, Finnair, Qantas and Japan Airlines.
The alliance's existing airlines serve nine points in mainland China -- Beijing, Shanghai Pudong, Guangzhou, Xiamen, Dalian, Hangzhou, Qingdao, Tianjin and Xian.
First Call Analyst:
CONTACT: Michael Blunt, VP Corp Comms of oneworld, +44 7789 612712,
firstname.lastname@example.org; or Corporate Communications of Cathay Pacific,
+1-852-2747-8282; or Elin Wong, Corporate Comms of Dragonair,
+1-852-3193-2874; or Corporate Communications of American Airlines,
+1-817-967-1577, email@example.com; or Press Office of British Airways,
+44 20 8738 5100, firstname.lastname@example.org; or Corporate Communications of
Finnair, +358 981 84970; or Communications of Iberia, +34 91 587 7462,
prensaintl@Iberia.es; or Stephen Pearlman of JAL, +81 3 5460 3109,
email@example.com; or Corporate Communications of LAN, +562 565 3975;
or Krisztina Nemeth, Corporate Comms of Malev, +36 1 235 3331, or
+36 20 555 4150, firstname.lastname@example.org; or Corporate Communications of
Qantas, +61 2 9691 3473; or Hussein Dabbas of Royal Jordanian,
+962 6 520 2500, email@example.com