aword from oneworld: April 200527 April 2005
More than a dozen destinations lining up to join oneworld's network: Another five destinations have been revealed in the past month as newcomers to the unrivalled global network served by the oneworldTM alliance, joining eight other newcomers recently announced. The latest additions to the alliance's schedules include:
- Hassi Messauod is to be brought on line as the alliance's second destination in Algeria, with British Airways linking the oil and gas production centre, which is about 350 miles south of Algiers, to London Gatwick with two Boeing 737 flights a week from 7 June.
- Mobile is being added back on the alliance map from 9 June, with affiliate American Eagle linking the Alabama city with its Dallas/Fort Worth hub with twice-daily Embraer ERJ140 regional jets non-stop.
- Palermo will be the second airport on the Italian island of Sicily served by oneworld, when affiliate Iberia Regional/Air Nostrum launches flights there from 23 July - four a week from Madrid and two from Barcelona, using Canadair CRJ200 regional jets, during the summer season.
- Sharm-el-Sheikh and Hurghada will feature on the oneworld map from 22 October, with affiliate GB Airways, which flies as a British Airways franchisee, launching flights to both Red Sea Riviera resorts from London Gatwick - Sharm-el-Sheikh three times a week, and Hurghada twice weekly. The new routes double the number of destinations served by oneworld in Egpyt. British Airways and Iberia both serve the capital Cairo, with another BA franchisee BMED operating to Alexandria.
From the end of March, Greece's Salonika (Thessaloniki) and Croatia's Split joined the oneworld network, with British Airways serving the two cities from London Gatwick.
Other destinations preparing to join the oneworld network, as previously announced, include:
- Mexico's Chihuahua, to be served by American Eagle from 1 May.
- Greece's Heraklion, by affliate GB Airways, a BA franchisee, from 3 May.
- Estonia's Kuresaare, by Finnair from 19 May.
- India's Bangalore, with British Airways to announce the start date for this new route soon.
- China's Guangzhou, by Finnair from September.
- Australia's Wollongong Illawarra, gateway to the New South Wales south coast, with QantasLink setting 6 June as the launch date for its new daily flights to and from Melbourne.
The oneworld network already extends to some 600 destinations in 135 countries.
New European routes take off: A whole range of new oneworld routes took off with the new flying season, at the end of March, besides the new destinations brought on line (see above):
- American Airlines is now serving Rome from New York JFK daily non-stop stop until late October. American also serves the Italian capital from its Chicago O'Hare hub through the summer season, until 28 October.
- British Airways is opening flights from London Gatwick to Bulgaria's Sofia from 2 June and Romania's Bucharest from 1 May. It already serves both cities from Longon Heathrow.
- British Airways CitiExpress is now flying from Bristol to Milan daily and to Zurich six times a week.
- Affiliate GB Airways, a BA franchisee, has opened flights from Manchester to Malaga, with Dubrovnik, Malta, Paphos and Tenerife to follow from 16 May.
- Finnair is linking Venice with its Helsinki hub non-stop twice a week, until late October.
- Iberia Regional/Air Nostrum has begun flights to Cagliari, on the Italian island of Sardinia, from Madrid twice a week and Barcelona three times weekly. It is also serving Verona daily from Barcelona.
AA regional affiliates reach across more of North America: American Airlines' regional affiliates have announced a range of new routes, including the launch by American Eagle of jet services to 11 cities from Miami and four destinations from both Chicago O'Hare and Dallas/Fort Worth:
- From Miami, it has started flying Embraer ERJ-140 regional jets to Charlotte, Cleveland, Columbus, Pittsburgh and Richmond, with Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Louisville, Memphis, Nashville and Norfolk following from 9 June
- From Chicago O'Hare, it is opening services to Colorado Springs and Jacksonville twice-daily and Nassau and Pensacola daily, also from 9 June.
- From Dallas/Fort Worth it is adding daily non-stops to Evansville (Indiana), Green Bay (Wisconsin) and Toledo (Ohio), also from 9 June, with new, and seasonal summer services to Traverse City (Michigan), with flights taking off to Fort Walton Beach (Florida) four times daily with Embraer ERJ145 jets from 2 July.
- From New York, it will fly from JFK to Toronto from 2 July and Cleveland, while from LaGuardia it will serve Grand Rapids daily from 9 June.
- From St Louis, oneworld and AA affilitate AmericanConnection is to fly daily non-stops to Fort Walton's Okaloosa County Airport, Florida, from 2 July.
BA to increase Indian schedules, with double dailies to Delhi and Mumbai: British Airways is to increase its flights to India substantially from October, following the latest round of Anglo-Indian air services talks. Frequencies to Mumbai will double to twice daily, its new Bangalore service will operate with five flights a week rather than the three originally planned, and Chennai schedules will be tripled to six a week. It will further increase its timetable for India from March, doubling Delhi flights to twice daily and increasing both Bangalore and Chennai to daily.
oneworld hubs Hong Kong and Helsinki voted world's best airports: oneworld hub Hong Kong, home base of member airline Cathay Pacific, has emerged as the world's best airport, best in Asia, and best large airport in a survey by IATA and Airports Council International. Partner Finnair's Helsinki home was voted best airline handling between five and 15 million passengers a year, and second best in Europe. The findings were based on interviews with 65.000 international and domestic travelers at 40 airports worldwide, who were asked to give their ratings 31 service-related parameters.
BA makes it easier to buy tickets through its web from another country: British Airways is making it easier for customers to buy tickets on-line by providing greater flexibility on which credit cards can be used. Now it will accept credit cards issued in any country for payment towards journeys originating in the customer's country of residence or from most major worldwide destinations served by the airline. Previously the website was only able to accept credit cards for payment if they were billed in the country of departure. The change, made in response to global customer feedback, will particularly benefit ex-patriot customers, who although living in one country will often have credit cards issued and billed in their home country.
Iberia launches world's first daily airline in-flight newspaper: Iberia has introduced what is believed to be the first daily newspaper produced by any airline worldwide. IB Universal will be offered free to all passengers flying on its services every weekday, along with the regular publicly available newspapers, and the airline's established monthly in-flight magazine. Its 24 pages cover the daily news with features on sport, lifestyle, education, health, science, the environment and leisure.
American Eagle starts offering snack boxes for sale in-flight: oneworld affiliate American Eagle, the regional sister of American Airlines, has started selling snack boxes in-flight. Passengers on most of its flights have been able to choose between two snack box options, each costing US$3 and containing brand name items, such as a muffin bar, raisins, bagel chips, salami, cheese and cookies. Their introduction follows extensive market research carried out by the airline. The snack boxes also are available for purchase in the main cabin on select American Airlines mainline domestic routes longer than three hours.
Aer Lingus extends self-service check-in to London Heathrow: Aer Lingus is now enabling its passengers to check themselves in at London Heathrow, following the installation there of eight of its FastPass self-service kiosks. Up to 70 per cent of passengers have been using them since they were unveiled last week. The Irish carrier aims to extend them in the next few weeks to Cork, Shannon and New York JFK.
oneworld in brief: oneworld brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business - American Airlines, British Airways, Qantas, Iberia, Cathay Pacific, LAN, Finnair and Aer Lingus - enabling them 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. Together, its members serve some 600 destinations and 135 countries. oneworld is the only alliance to enable passengers to fly throughout its network, on any combination of carriers, using just electronic tickets. oneworld was voted the world's best airline alliance by readers of Business Traveller magazine in its 2004 poll and the World's Leading Airline Alliance for the second year running in the latest World Travel Awards, based on votes cast by80,000 travel agency professionalsfrom more than 200 countries. It is also the only alliance whose members reported collective profits last year. Note: LAN affiliate LAN ECUADOR is not a member of oneworld.