aword from oneworld: August 2009

06 August 2009

Final oneworld London Heathrow terminal switch set for 29 October:  oneworld's biggest co-location project to date will be completed on 29 October, with the final moves of the alliance's member airlines at London Heathrow.  All Qantas' operations at the airport and British Airways' Bangkok, Singapore and Sydney services will switch then from Terminal 4 to Terminal 3.

Finnair and Iberia moved to Terminal 3 earlier this year, along with a number of British Airways' shorthaul routes.   Already based in Terminal 3 were all the other oneworld® on-line carriers - American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and Royal Jordanian.  All BA's other operations are now housed in the new Terminal 5.   Terminal 3 is the closest of Heathrow's existing terminals to Terminal 5.

The project brings the operations of the alliance's eight carriers serving the airport from across all five of its passenger terminals to just two, smoothing oneworld transfer at its biggest European hub.

Terminal 3 has been given a multi-million dollar up-grade to bring its customer facilities up to a similar standard to those offered at Terminal 5, including a new British Airways lounge facility, whose First Class suite will open when its Sydney flights move there.

New tool added to to help choose most suitable alliance fare:  A clever new tool has been added to to help customers work out which of oneworld's market-leading range of alliance fares is best for their travel needs.

They simply select the country where they plan to start their journey and then add other countries they want to visit on their trip, and the new "Travel Product Selection Tool" lists which of the alliance's fares would be appropriate for that kind of journey and provides links showing how to make a booking.

oneworld offers a wider range of consumer fares than any other alliance, generating, with oneworld sales activities, more than US$850 million last year, up 25 per cent year-on-year and making oneworld the market leader in this field. 

There's something for anyone interested in making an extensive journey - from the business traveller flying right around the world to the student backpacker exploring just a continent or two.

Flights can be on any oneworld carrier - which include some of the best and biggest airlines in the world, who together offer an incomparable network, serving some 700 destinations in around 150 countries worldwide.  oneworld is the only airline alliance with any member airlines from South America, Australia or Asia's Middle East.

Its flagship alliance fare is oneworld Explorer - which is the only round-the-world fare whose price is based on the number of continents you visit, rather than the distance you fly, making planning and pricing your journey as simple and flexible as possible.   It is also the first round-the-world multi-airline fare and the first alliance fare to be made available for sale on-line. 

For those who do not want to circumnavigate the globe, it offers a choice of four multi-continent "Circle" fares - Circle Atlantic, covering Europe and the Middle East, North and South America; Circle Pacific, for Australasia, Asia and North and South America; Circle Trip Explorer, for Europe, Africa, Asia and Australasia; and Circle Asia and South West Pacific.

It is also the only alliance offering passes for flights on all its member airlines within each of the continents, with its Visit tickets covering Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Europe, North America, South America and also Japan.

Most oneworld fares are available for travel in Economy, Premium Economy, Business or even First Class.  Most also attract frequent flyer rewards.

oneworld timetable now accessible via Blackberrys and other smart phones:  oneworld's timetable - featuring schedules for all the alliance's member airlines - can now be accessed via Blackberrys and other smart phones.  Simply open your browser to and you can check out schedules offered by all ten of the alliance's carriers, all their affiliates and flights operated with their prefix under code-sharing arrangements with other airlines - a total of some 10.000 departures a day serving around 700 destinations in some 150 countries.

New points in Argentina, Australia and Bahamas join oneworld network:  New destinations in Argentina, Australia and the Bahamas are joining the oneworld network: 

  • Tucuman (TUC) is the 13th point in Argentina served by the alliance, with affiliate member LAN Argentina now serving the point, in the north or the country, 13 times a week from its Buenos Aires hub.
  • Moranbah (MOV), in Australia, will come on line from 28 September, with affiliate QantasLink serving the Queensland destination from Brisbane with an initial five flights week.
  • In the Bahamas, three more points are linking up to oneworld with affiliate American Eagle launching non-stops from Miami to Harbour Island (ELH) three times a week and Treasure Cay, Abaco (TCB), and Governors Harbour (GHB) four times a week from 19 November. The alliance already has four points in the islands on its map.

Cathay to add Jeddah to its network:  Cathay Pacific is to add Jeddah to its network from 25 October, joining British Airways and Royal Jordanian in serving Saudi Arabia's second major commercial city.  It will serve the city from its Hong Kong hub with an initial four Airbus A330-300s a week, via Dubai.

American Eagle to add two routes from Miami:  oneworld affiliate American Eagle is to open two new routes from Miami from 19 November - to South Carolina's Charleston and Tennessee's Knoxville.  It will operate both daily with Embraer ERJ145s.  The airline already serves both destinations from its Dallas/Fort Worth hub with flights to Knoxville from Chicago O'Hare also.

Dragonair to up Kathmandu frequencies:  oneworld affiliate Dragonair is to serve Kathmandu via Dhaka rather than non-stop from its Hong Kong hub from 1 October - but the change does mean a higher frequency on the route, with roundtrips increased from three to five a week and by larger Airbus A330s.

Iberia completes up-grades to its Madrid lounges:  Iberia has completed renovations to its VIP lounges at its Madrid hub.  The airline says the up-grades are aimed at "improving the quality of customer service, attracting more business customers and consolidating Madrid's Terminal 4 as the leading European gateway for Latin America and one of the best European hubs for business travel". 

The improvements are part of a EUR150 million programme of investment the airline is making in up-grading its customer service during the coming two years.

Michelin star winning Spanish master chef Sergi Arola has helped the airline develop the food and beverages provided.  Items on offer will change during the day, with the quality of the ingredients upgraded and portion sizes larger with customers able to help them selves from buffets.

The Velázquez lounge in the terminal's satellite, which is used mainly for longhaul and non-Schengen flights, will now be open 24 hours a day.

Finnair passengers can now check in at Stockholm's city centre train station:  Finnair customers departing from Stockholm may now check in for their flight at the Swedish capital's Central Railway Station before taking the Arlanda Express train to the airport under trials just launched.  Check-in can also be made for onwards connections from the airline's Helsinki hub.  The Arlanda Express train takes just 20 minutes between the airport and the city centre.  Finnair flies between Helsinki and Stockholm seven times a day.

American helps every dog have his day:  The latest facility rolled out by American Airlines at its New York JFK passenger terminal is a 1.000 sq ft lawn - for dogs (or cats) to exercise and...err... do their business before being packed in a kennel for their flight.  The Pet Relief Area features a "mutt mitt" dispenser and trash barrel for owners to clear up after their pooches - and includes a bright red fire hydrant at the far end of the grassy area.

About oneworld:  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, Malév Hungarian Airlines, Qantas and Royal Jordanian, and around 20 affiliates including American Eagle, Dragonair, LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador and LAN Peru.  Mexicana and its affiliate Click Mexicana will join the alliance in 2009 and Russia's S7 Airlines in 2010.

Between them, these airlines:

  • Serve almost 750 airports in nearly 150 countries, with some 8.500 daily departures.
  • Offer nearly 550 airport lounges for premium customers.
  • Carry some 330 million passengers a year.
  • Employ 300.000 people.
  • Operate almost 2.500 aircraft.
  • Generate some US$100 billion annual revenues in total.

It is the only alliance with any airlines based in Australia, South America or Asia's Middle East.

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 also offers more alliance fares than any of its competitors.

oneworld was voted the World's Leading Airline Alliance for the sixth year running in the latest (2008) World Travel Awards.   It is the only winner of this award since it was introduced in 2003.