aword from oneworld: July

01 August 2002

oneworldIS FIRST ALLIANCE TO INTRODUCE E-TICKET INTERLINING: oneworld™ has become the first of the global airline alliances to commit to introducing interline arrangements for electronic tickets, making it easier for the alliance's customers to transfer between member airline's flights.

American Airlines and Finnair have just become the first US-European airlines to set arrangements in place to allow customers to use a single electronic ticket when their itineraries include travel on both carriers, making it even easier for them to transfer between the two airlines. Similar arrangements will follow on a phased basis between American and LanChile, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Qantas and Iberia, between British Airways and Finnair, and later between other oneworld partners.

American Airlines is the first of the world's major airlines to announce plans to phase out completely traditional, paper airline tickets within the next 18 months, moving to 100 per cent electronic ticketing as a way to streamline the airport process. It will stop issuing paper tickets for wholly domestic itineraries by March 2003 and for all other itineraries by December 2003. In the interim, AA has increased its fee for a paper ticket to US$20 for those customers who qualify for an electronic ticket.

Finnair meanwhile, has become an e-ticket airline on its domestic network. Passengers requesting a traditional paper ticket on the airline's Finnish internal routes are now charged Euro 10, plus tax.

SELF-SERVICE CHECK-IN DEBUTS IN AUSTRALIA WITH QANTAS: Qantas is introducing the first self-service check-in machines in Australia next month with "QuickCheck" kiosks at Sydney and Melbourne with other Australian airports following. The airline says it will cut check-in times to less than a minute.

MORE CODE-SHARING TO MAKE NETWORK CONNECTIONS EASIER STILL: A significant expansion of code-sharing has been set in place between the members of oneworld, making it easier still for passengers to travel across the alliance's combined network. Finnair has added another nine routes to network covered by its code-sharing agreement with British Airways, and another two to its joint services with Iberia. The UK and Spanish airline are also expanding their code-share services.

LANCHILE AND QANTAS LINK HUBS: Santiago and Sydney, the home bases of LanChile and Qantas, have been linked by direct flights for the first time. The South American oneworld member is flying the route three times a week, via Auckland, with its services also carrying the QF code, shaving hours off the previous fastest journey time between the two cities. At Santiago, passengers can connect with LanChile's extensive South American network, covering Chile, Argentina, Brazil and other countries throughout the region. In Sydney, there will be convenient connections to Qantas Australian domestic and South Pacific timetable.

AA TO ENTER EASTERN SEABOARD SHUTTLE MARKET: American Airlines is to launch services in the Eastern Seaboard shuttle market, through its regional affiliate American Eagle. It will offer ten return flights a day between New York LaGuardia and Boston Logan from 24 September and three between the Big Apple airport and Washington National from 1 October. It will also increase frequencies on its established Boston-Washington link to six a day. Services on all routes will be branded Business Express. Tom Gleason, Vice-President Passenger Sales for American's Eastern Division, said: "These markets have been served by two competitors for years. New York customers are ready for a new choice."

BA EXTENDS NEW LOW FARES TO GERMANY, AUSTRIA AND SWISS: British Airways has expanded its new fare policy to more European markets as part of its strategy to compete more effectively with no-frills operators, with the new lower and more flexible tickets now available on its 37 routes serving Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Danish, Dutch, French, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese and Swedish services already benefited from the new direction. A total of 108 shorthaul routes are now covered by the airline's revised fares structure. Latest prices start from £99 (US$155) for a return ticket including taxes from London to Geneva, Frankfurt, Cologne and Dusseldorf.

AA, BA, CATHAY AND QANTAS FEATURED IN FORBES' FINEST FIRSTS: Five of the ten First class services included as the world's best in a review by leading US business magazine Forbes are offered by oneworld carriers – against two from Star and none from SkyTeam, underlining oneworld's position as the leading quality alliance. American Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Qantas had their premier services reviewed, with British Airways featured twice – once for its standard First and also for Concorde.

IBERIA AND FINNAIR HONOURED AT AIRLINE STRATEGY AWARDS: The only mainstream airlines to be honoured in the inaugural Airline Strategy Awards, organized by leading industry magazine Airline Business, were oneworld members, with Iberia's Chairman Xabier de Irala taking the top award for Corporate Leadership and Finnair winning the prize for technology.

LANCHILE – THE RISING LEADER: LanChile is described as the "rising leader of the Latin American airline industry" in a survey in the July edition of top Latin American business magazine América Economía. The report analyzed the region's top 500 companies. It rated LanChile "a star" and ranked it among the world's top nine most recognized Latin American companies.

AA ADDS MORE ROUTES FROM THE BIG APPLE AND BOSTON: American Airlines is to link New York LaGuardia with Chicago Midway with three daily flights from 4 September and New Orleans with daily non-stop Super 80 flights from 1 October. The world's biggest airline is also adding more routes from Boston on 1 August – to Raleigh/Durham and Fort Lauderdale.

QANTAS AND AA RAISE TOKYO ROUTES: Qantas has launched daily Boeing 767-300 services between Melbourne and Tokyo Narita, taking the number of flights by the airline between Australia and Japan to 54 a week. American Airlines is to add daily non-stop Boeing 777s flights between Los Angeles and the Japanese capital on 1 April next year, subject to government approval – a year after inaugurating its service between the Japanese capital and New York JFK.

IBERIA REGIONAL HEADS FOR PORTO FROM BARCELONA: Affiliate Air Nostrum, which flies as Iberia Regional, has launched daily services between Barcelona and Porto. Iberia itself already serves the northern Portuguese city from Madrid four times a day.

FINNAIR TO LAUNCH DIRECT EUROPEAN FLIGHTS TO LAPLAND: Santa's little helpers will find it easier to reach their home base without reindeer-powered sleighs next winter, with Finnair launching non-stop flights to Lapland from Frankfurt, Paris and Zurich.

IBERIA OPENS NEW BRUSSELS LOUNGE: Iberia has opened its new lounge at Brussels Airport's Terminal A. Its 300 square metres of space offers seating for up to 130 customers, a conference for up to ten, four PC connection ports and slf-service bars for drinks and snacks. The facility can be used for Iberia business class passengers, and Sapphire and Emerald tier frequent flyer club members from all eight oneworld airlines.

DISPLAY OF FLIGHT SCHEDULES IMPROVED ON oneworld.COM: The display of oneworld member airlines' flight schedules has been improved on www.oneworld.com. Among the new features added are the ability to sort itineraries by shortest travel time, arrival or departure time or by direct flights only and to display availability of seats for sale by class of service.

BA TO OFFER EMAIL AND INTERNET IN-FLIGHT: British Airways is to offer in-flight email and internet access through Connexion by Boeing, which will be installed in its First, Club World and World Traveller Plus cabins for a trial period of three months from February. The technology could also provide capability to broadcast live TV and radio shows in-flight.

IBERIA ORDERS THREE A340-600S AND RETIRES A300S: Iberia has ordered another three Airbus A340-600s – the world's longest aircraft – for delivery from next June for use on the airline's longhaul routes, replacing three Boeing 747-300s, as part of its overall fleet renewal strategy. Last month, the airline retired the last of its A300 fleet.

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