Japan Airlines (JAL), Malev Hungarian Airlines and Royal Jordanian Airlines will begin offering oneworld® services and benefits on April 1, 2007, in the biggest expansion of the world's leading quality global airline alliance since its launch eight years ago.
Five other members of the JAL Group will join oneworld alongside Japan Airlines on the same day, as affiliates -- JALways, Japan Asia Airways, JAL Express, J-AIR and Japan Transocean Air.
Combined, some 20 million frequent flyers from these airlines will be able to earn and redeem mileage awards on all other oneworld airlines beginning April 1. This includes the more than 19.5 million members of the JAL Mileage Bank (JMB) frequent flyer program, 75,000 members from Malev's Duna Club, and the 90,000 members of Royal Jordanian's Royal Plus.
Emerald and Sapphire level top-tier members will also have access to the 400 airport lounges worldwide offered by the alliance's airlines.
Eligible members of these three programs will soon be sent new membership cards, bearing the oneworld logo, to ensure they receive their alliance benefits effective April 1.
At the same time, members of the established oneworld airlines' frequent flyer programs, including the American Airlines AAdvantage® program, will be able to earn and redeem awards and receive all other oneworld benefits on these newest members, whose networks will also be covered by oneworld's extensive range of alliance fares and sales products.
"Adding Japan Airlines, Malev and Royal Jordanian represents oneworld's biggest expansion since the alliance was launched eight years ago today," said oneworld Managing Partner John McCulloch. "We are very much looking forward to welcoming them and their customers on board April 1. Their addition will broaden our network coverage in three of the fastest growing regions for air travel and further strengthen oneworld's position as the world's leading quality airline alliance."
JAL Group Chief Executive Haruka Nishimatsu said, "We are delighted to announce that JAL will become a member of oneworld on April 1. By joining hands with the alliance's nine other world-class airlines, we will be able to further strengthen the quality of our products and services, providing our customers with greater convenience, comfort, value and choice throughout the alliance's comprehensive global network. Our strong market presence in Japan and elsewhere in Asia will enable us to take a leading role in oneworld's strategy and significantly enhance the competitiveness of this leading quality global alliance."
Malev Chief Executive Janos Gonci said, "Following almost two intensive years of preparation for joining oneworld, my team and I are thrilled that the big day is almost upon us, and we can't wait to be a fully fledged member of the alliance. We are convinced that oneworld membership is a win-win-win for Malev, for oneworld and, most importantly, for all our customers the world over."
Royal Jordanian Chief Executive Samer Majali said, "Membership in oneworld will create extensive opportunities for Royal Jordanian that will enable our airline to offer our customers greater and smoother access to a substantially more diverse network of destinations, with the help of our excellent stable of partners. Through RJ's own wide-ranging regional network, we will provide the other oneworld airlines with markedly increased reach in the fast growing Middle East."
Three other airlines are also lining up to become part of oneworld in 2007 -- Dragonair, LAN Argentina and LAN Ecuador, all as affiliate members. Joining dates for these three airlines will be announced as soon as they have been determined.
Also, as previously announced, Aer Lingus will withdraw from oneworld effective April 1, with its focus on low fare point-to-point passengers no longer in line with oneworld's strategy of providing services for premium, multi-sector, frequent international travelers.
Work is well under way in linking up the IT systems of the newest members to those of oneworld's established members and to bring their various internal processes and procedures into line with the alliance's requirements so they can offer oneworld services and benefits beginning April 1.
Of the 24 interline e-ticketing (IET) links required to enable passengers to transfer between their oneworld flights using only electronic tickets without the need for a traditional paper ticket, only three remain to be cut over. Malev already offers IET with all the other oneworld members. The three outstanding IET connections will be completed in the coming weeks. oneworld has been the only alliance with interline e-ticketing between all of its partners since April 2005.
Additionally, extensive employee training and communications programs are now under way at the alliance's newest members, as well as at existing members, to ensure that employees worldwide are ready to provide oneworld's customer services and benefits across the expanded alliance beginning April 1.
JAL, Malev and Royal Jordanian have already joined the alliance's Global Explorer round-the-world fare product. They will have the alliance's full range of alliance fares and sales products extended to them on April 1.
Last month, oneworld members American Airlines and Cathay Pacific relocated from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2 at JAL's main international hub at Tokyo Narita, where they now operate alongside Japan Airlines. Qantas was already based there and Finnair will join them in the coming weeks. This represents the alliance's biggest consolidation project in the Asia-Pacific region, substantially smoothing and speeding connections for passengers transferring there between alliance member's flights.
About oneworld and its New Members
Japan Airlines was the largest airline in the world not aligned to a multilateral global alliance until it lined up to join oneworld. It is the biggest airline in the Asia-Pacific region and one of the top airlines in the world on any count. On virtually every measure, it becomes one of the biggest three airlines in oneworld.
With its five oneworld affiliates, Japan Airlines will add nearly 50 destinations to the alliance network -- almost 40 of them in Japan, and the rest in China and elsewhere in Asia. JAL will bring one new territory onto the oneworld map -- Guam.
American Airlines is acting as its oneworld sponsor, supporting it in the alliance joining process.
Malev Hungarian Airlines is one of the highest quality carriers in Central and Eastern Europe. Its Budapest base provides oneworld with one of the best hubs in that region, which is one of the fastest growing worldwide for air travel. The airline's network will considerably expand oneworld's presence in that part of the world.
Malev adds 10 cities to the oneworld network, all of them in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as one country, the Republic of Macedonia.
Finnair is acting as its oneworld sponsor.
Royal Jordanian is the first airline from the Middle East to find a home with any of the global airline alliances. Its Amman base provides oneworld with one of the best hubs for travelling around the region -- the world's fastest growing for air travel -- where the airline's network is focused.
Royal Jordanian adds 11 cities to the oneworld network, all of them in Middle East, and two countries -- Iraq and Yemen.
British Airways is acting as its oneworld sponsor.
The oneworld Alliance enables its member airlines 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.
Its established members included American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, LAN and Qantas, plus their dozen affiliates.
oneworld was voted the World's Leading Airline Alliance for the fourth year running in the 2006 World Travel Awards, based on votes cast by some 170,000 travel professionals, including more than 110,000 travel agents in 200 countries.
Pictures, Logos and Video
Pictures and logos of oneworld and its member airlines can be downloaded from http://www.oneworld.com/gallery .
Pictures and logos of JAL, Malev and Royal Jordanian can be downloaded from the news section at http://www.oneworld.com/gallery .
A video b-roll, with broadcast quality shots of oneworld and its existing member airlines, is available from AirTime TV (contact Martin White at +44 7831 270534 or at firstname.lastname@example.org ).
CONTACT: Michael Blunt, VP Corp Comms of oneworld, +44-7789-612712, or
email@example.com ; or Media Relations of Aer Lingus +353-1-886-2573; or
Corporate Communications of American Airlines, +1-817-967-1577, or
firstname.lastname@example.org ; or Press Office of British Airways, +44-20-8738-5100, or
email@example.com ; or Corporate Communications of Cathay Pacific,
+852-2747-8282; or Corporate Communications of Finnair, +358-981-84970; or
Communications of Iberia, +34-91-587-7462, or prensaintl@Iberia.es ; or
Stephen Pearlman of Japan Airlines, +81-3-5460-3109, or
firstname.lastname@example.org ; or Corporate Communications of LAN, +562-565-3975;
or Krisztina Nemeth, Corporate Comms of Malev Hungarian Airlines,
+36-1-235-3331, or +36-20-555-4150, or email@example.com ; or Corporate
Communications of Qantas, +61-2-9691-3473; or Hussein Dabbas of Royal
Jordanian, +962-6-520-2500, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Web site: http://www.aa.com/