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Real Customer Benefits Delivered as Joint Business Reaches Its First Anniversary

The trans-Atlantic joint business between American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia continues to strengthen its position as it reaches its first anniversary.

FORT WORTH, Texas, Oct. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The trans-Atlantic joint business between American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia continues to strengthen its position as it reaches its first anniversary.

The joint business allows the three airlines to cooperate commercially on flights between the United States, Mexico, Canada and Puerto Rico and the European Union, Switzerland and Norway.  More than 12 million people have traveled on the joint business in the last year to 40 gateway cities in North America and Europe.

New routes, aligning of schedules, combining services and a greater number of fares are all customer benefits that have come to life in the past year.

Customer benefits introduced in the last year have included:

  • Better departure and arrival times between top UK-U.S. cities as American and BA's schedules were aligned. For example, flights to New York from London Heathrow now depart every hour, on the hour between 1 p.m. and 8 p.m.
  • The six oneworld® Global Support Centers, which help customers transferring through the airlines' networks, have assisted more than 250,000 customers, resulting in significant increases in customer satisfaction scores.
  • The airlines have joined up to sell each other's flights in more than 2000 markets, up from just a few hundred prior to the launch of the joint business.
  • The ability to book a flight on joint business services and manage those bookings across any of the airlines' websites.
  • Aligning of generous policies and an increased opportunity to earn and redeem and upgrade through the three airlines' frequent flyer programs
  • Creation of many corporate deals providing new or existing clients with aligned account management, coordinated pricing and joint contracts across the three airlines on trans-Atlantic routes.
  • Sixty policies have been consolidated in order to give customers more consistency such as the option for customers traveling in Business or First across the joint business to check in three bags.
  • Three joint lounges have opened – Miami, Denver and, just this week, Philadelphia.
  • New services have been launched: New York JFK-Budapest and Chicago-Helsinki (operated by American), London Heathrow–San Diego (operated by BA) and Madrid–Los Angeles and Barcelona–Miami (operated by Iberia).
  • A sharing of cabin services such as the introduction in American Airlines First Class of a turndown service complete with quilted bed topper, pajamas and slippers and in BA's First Class the introduction of ice cream sundaes and warm nuts.
  • Co-location of the three airlines offices and staff at Chicago, Frankfurt and New York to streamline working practices.

There are many improvements coming to American Airlines, one which includes taking delivery of the biggest aircraft order in aviation history. Beginning in 2013, American will introduce to its fleet 260 aircraft from the Airbus 320 family and 200 aircraft from the Boeing 737 family. This, together with the airline's existing orders for Boeing 737s, Boeing 777-300s and Boeing 787s, will transform American's fleet to become the youngest and most fuel-efficient among its U.S. airline peers in approximately five years. Separately, American is investing in products and services to enhance the onboard travel experience. Later this year, American will introduce in premium cabins on select flights Samsung Galaxy Tab™ 10.1 devices for inflight entertainment – making the airline the first North American airline to offer a branded tablet inflight. American led the industry this year as the first North American airline to test and implement entertainment on demand, an inflight streaming video product available on American's fleet of 767-200s. Also, American recently introduced renowned chefs Richard Sandoval and Marcus Samuelsson to its culinary team, providing customers with new signature menu items onboard.

British Airways has just launched its biggest brand campaign in a decade with the promise 'To Fly. To Serve'. The campaign focuses on the people of BA and what they do every day to make flying special. New B777-300ERs are being integrated to the fleet and BA takes delivery of A380s and B787s in 2013. Customers are benefiting from better food and wine and enjoying the new World Traveller, World Traveller Plus and First Class cabin. The airport experience is improving further with the opening of Heathrow Terminal 5's third satellite, known as T5C and Gatwick receiving a $98 million revamp. Technology is helping the airline deliver better customer service with changes to ba.com and iPads for cabin crew.

Iberia is investing in the renovation of part of its long haul fleet. Between fall 2012 and spring 2014 it will receive 16 Airbus A330-300 aircraft, which are 15 percent more fuel efficient than the aircraft that they replace. As part of this improved environmental performance, Iberia is involved in different projects to use biofuel. Last Monday the company staged Spain's first commercial flight powered by biofuel; it was an Iberia Airbus A320 flying from Madrid to Barcelona, using a mixture of 75 percent conventional jet fuel and 25 percent biofuel derived from the camelina sativa plant. Iberia is also investing in its products and services. A new Business Class cabin in long haul flights and enhancements in the long haul Economy Class will be ready by the end of 2012, with a total investment of $267 million. Customers are also enjoying Iberia's new culinary team that includes chefs Paco Roncero, Ramon Freixa, Tono Perez and Dani Garcia, each of them having two Michelin stars.

For more information on American Airlines, British Airways or Iberia, log on to www.aa.com, www.britishairways.com and www.iberia.com.

About American Airlines

American Airlines, American Eagle and the AmericanConnection® carrier serve 260 airports in more than 50 countries and territories with, on average, more than 3,400 daily flights. The combined network fleet numbers more than 900 aircraft. American's award-winning website, AA.com®, provides users with easy access to check and book fares, plus personalized news, information and travel offers. American Airlines is a founding member of the oneworld® alliance, which brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business, enabling them to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. Together, its members and members-elect serve more than 900 destinations with more than 10,000 daily flights to 149 countries and territories. American Airlines, Inc. and American Eagle Airlines, Inc. are subsidiaries of AMR Corporation. AmericanAirlines, American Eagle, AmericanConnection, AA.com, and AAdvantage are trademarks of American Airlines, Inc. (NYSE: AMR).

About British Airways

British Airways is the UK's largest international scheduled airline. It flies its customers at convenient times to the best-located airports across the world. It is one of the world's leading global premium airlines and its principal place of business is London with significant presence at Heathrow, Gatwick and London City. British Airways also operates a worldwide air cargo business, largely in conjunction with its scheduled passenger services. The airline operates one of the most extensive international scheduled airline route networks and, together with its joint business agreement, codeshare and franchise partners, flies to more than 400 destinations worldwide. British Airways is also a founding member of oneworld, the alliance of airlines around the globe, which together serves some 900 destinations, and offers the best connections. Whether customers are in the air or on the ground, British Airways takes pride in providing a full service experience. More information is available at ba.com.

About Iberia

Iberia is the leading airline in Spain in the routes that connect Spain and Europe, and also market leader on flights between Europe and Latin America. Together with its franchise partner Iberia Regional, it operates more than 1,000 flights every day to more than 110 destinations in 45 countries. Iberia is a member of oneworld, an alliance serving some 900 airports in nearly 150 countries, with more than 10,000 daily departures. For further information about the Iberia Group visit; http://grupo.iberia.com/portal/site/grupoiberia/.

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SOURCE American Airlines

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