aword from oneworld: October 200429 October 2004
World's most southerly city and Med island latest to join oneworld network: The world's southernmost city, Argentina's Ushuaia, and one of the Mediterranean's favourite holiday islands, Crete, are the latest destinations to join the oneworldTM network. News of their addition comes as the alliance prepares to link up next week with three other new destinations – Florida's Pensacola, Georgia's Tbilisi and Morocco's Fez.
Ushuaia, on the island of Tierra del Fuego at the tip of Argentina, near Cape Horn, will be brought on-line from 1 December, when LAN launches thrice-weekly Airbus A319 flights between the airport and its Santiago base. oneworld will be the only global alliance with a member serving Ushuaia, which is famed for its spectacular mountain scenery, primeval forests, rugged coastlines and live glaciers, which attract thousands of ecotourists and adventure travellers. As capital of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego, Antarctica and Southern Atlantic Islands Province, Ushuaia also serves as a gateway to the Antarctic. It will be the seventh point in Argentina on the oneworld map, joining Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Mendoza, Rosario, Salta and Bariloche.
The Greek island of Crete will be served by oneworld affiliate member GB Airways, which flies as a franchisee of British Airways, with twice-weekly services between Heraklion from London Gatwick from May. They will be the first scheduled flights between the island and the UK. As with all GB Airways operations, they will match the full British Airways' full-frills service offering, with Club Europe and Euro Traveller cabins.
Tbilisi is rejoining the alliance's network from Monday (1 November), when affiliate British Mediterranian, a British Airways franchisee, restarts Airbus A320/321 flights twice a week from London Heathrow after an 18-month break.
Pensacola will be connected, also from Monday, by American Eagle, the AA regional affiliate, to its Dallas/Forth Worth hub four times each week day, using Embraer ERJ145 regional jets.
Morocco's Fez will follow on Tuesday, served from London Gatwick twice-weekly by affiliate GB Airways.
In March, Greece's Salonika and Croatia's Split will be added to the oneworld map with new British Airways flights to and from London Gatwick.
They are joining more than 575 destinations worldwide already served by oneworld airlines on the world's most international route network, with the alliance serving more countries than any of its competitors - all available using the grouping's unrivalled choice of alliance fare and sales products.
oneworld's first global frequent flyer promotion for years takes off: oneworld's first joint global frequent flyer promotion for around five years was took off this month (October), offering existing and new members of any of its member airlines' frequent flyer programme a special bonus of frequent flyer miles, or points. If they travel on at least three member airlines, including their FFP "host" airline, on eligible fares this October and November, they could earn a bonus of up to 15,000 FFP miles or points, redeemable throughout the oneworld network. Fares covered include a number of economy/coach class fares, besides those for travel in First, Business or British Airways' World Traveller Plus.
There are minor differences in the way the promotion operates in some member airlines' frequent flyer schemes. Some require participants to register for the bonus promotion first. The size of the bonus varies too between some member airlines, because of the different structures of their individual frequent flyer schemes. For instance, members of Iberia Plus will be eligible for a 1,200 point bonus. For full details, see www.oneworld.com
Cathay opens new lounge at London Heathrow: Cathay Pacific has opened a new First and Business Class lounge at London Heathrow's Terminal 3. Modelled on the airline's award-winning facilities Wing and Pier facilities at its Hong Kong hub, it features a five-metre-long seamless, satin finished stainless steel "Long Bar". It is one of 392 lounges offered available to Emerald and Sapphire tier members of any oneworld member airline's frequent flyer programme when flying on any of the alliance's carriers.
Finnair first to offer check-in by mobile phone text message: Finnair has become the first airline in the world to enable passengers to check-in via a mobile phone text message. oneworld's Nordic partner, widely recognised as one of the industry's IT leaders, introduced the service this month (October), initially for members of its Finnair Plus frequent flyer programme flying from its Helsinki home and Stockholm hub. After activating the service, they check-in by answering a text message sent to their mobile phone before each flight departure. They are sent back a second text message confirming their departure gate and seat number. They are automatically allocated their preferred seat, wherever possible. This enables them to go directly to the departure gate, by-passing the normal check-in procedures, if they are only travelling with hand baggage. If a customer has baggage to check-in, he or she can leave it at a fast bag drop desk in the departure hall.
American to launch two new Japanese routes: American Airlines aims to launch service in 2005 between its Chicago O'Hare hub and Nagoya from 3 April and resume flights between its main Dallas/Fort Worth base and Osaka from 1 November, operating both routes daily non-stop, with Boeing 777s. Both Japanese cities are already on the oneworld map, with Cathay Pacific flights to and from its Hong Kong hub. Finnair also connects Osaka with its Helsinki home.
Cathay gains go-ahead for more mainland China services: Cathay Pacific has been given the regulatory green light to increase its services to mainland China, enabling it to increase frequencies to Beijing, launch flights to Xiamen and inaugurate cargo operations to Shanghai. It will increase its current thrice-weekly frequencies to the capital to daily from December and has rights to add a second daily from next summer. It will operate three passenger flights a week to Xiamen and 12 freighters a week to Shanghai, from next year.
Finnair to fly to Venice: Finnair is to add Venice to its network from March, with services twice a week throughout the summer season. The flights will be timed to provide excellent transfers at the airline's Helsinki hub with its Asian connections. The Italian city is already served by oneworld carriers British Airways and Iberia.
Qantas introduces new goodies to make flying more fun for kids: Qantas has introduced a range of children's products and services designed to assist families and help make travelling easier and more enjoyable. The airline is linking with The Wiggles to offer youngsters on international flights the group's activity packs and entertainment programmes. Older children will receive an activity book, pencils and other goodies.
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 more than 575 destinations in 135 countries. 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 in the tenth World Travel Awards, based on votes cast by80,000 travel agency professionalsfrom more than 200 countries. Note: LAN affiliate LAN ECUADOR is not a member of oneworld.