aword from oneworld: August 2003

29 August 2003

DUBROVNIK TO JOIN NETWORK IN LATEST BA ROUTE CHANGES: Dubrovnik will join the oneworld™ network in April, with British Airways launching services to the Croatian coastal city from London Gatwick three times a week. The new service will replace the UK airline's current flights to Zagreb, from London Heathrow, which are being suspended from 14 September.

BA will also start serving Turin from London Gatwick, from 26 October, daily initially and then twice daily from December. The Italian city is already served by oneworld partner Iberia.

In addition, the UK oneworld carrier will launch flights twice daily from the end of October between Manchester and Copenhagen, which it already serves from London, and add frequencies between Gatwick and the Caribbean from December, with three more flights a week to Antigua and two more to Barbados, giving ten a week to both islands.

Also at the end of October, BA will transfer operations to Bilbao, in Spain, from London Gatwick to Heathrow. Its Johannesburg and Tokyo services will move to Heathrow Terminal 1 from Terminal 4 at the same time, making UK domestic and European transfers more convenient.

AMERICAN ADDS TOKYO AND BUENOS AIRES SERVICES: American Airlines is to restore daily non-stop flights to Tokyo Narita from New York JFK from 22 September, ahead of launching daily non-stops to the Japanese capital from Los Angeles from 4 April. AA currently operates JFK-Narita five days a week. It already serves the Japanese airport from Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth and San Jose (California).

American Airlines will also launch flights between its Dallas/Fort Worth base and Buenos Aires three times a week from 1 November. The Argentine city is already served by AA from both Miami and New York JFK, and by oneworld partners British Airways, Iberia and LanChile.

In addition, AA plans to start non-stop flights between its Los Angeles and San Juan hubs at weekends from 19 December, using Boeing 767s, and will offer international services for the first time from Fort Lauderdale from 1 November, with daily flights to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, using Boeing 737-800s.

AFFILIATE CITIEXPRESS LAUNCHES TWO NEW LONDON CITY LINKS: British Airways' regional subsidiary CitiExpress, a oneworld affiliate, is launching two new routes from its new base at London City, the closest airport to the UK capital's financial district . Flights to Edinburgh and Geneva will take off from 26 October. The Scottish capital – which will replace its neighbour Glasgow on the airline's London City network – will be served four times a day on weekdays, with the Swiss city enjoying three daily weekday frequencies.

TENERIFE AND TOULOUSE TO GET THE AER LINGUS TREATMENT: Aer Lingus is to launch flights between its Dublin base and both Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, and Toulouse, France, from 26 October. Both destinations are already served by other oneworld partners British Airways and Iberia.

QANTAS FLAT OUT WITH SEPTEMBER START FOR SLEEPER SEATS: Qantas launches its up-graded International Business Class next month – including its new "skybed". The state-of-the-art, cocoon-style sleeper seat will be installed on all 30 of the airline's Boeing 747-400s and on seven new Airbus A330-300s to be delivered in the second half of next year. The International Business Class improvements also feature specially trained, dedicated flight attendants, new food and wine, a new service style including a self-service bar for drinks and snacks, premium quality noise-cancellation headsets and luxury amenity kits. First Class customers will also see improvements in seat comfort and cabin enhancements including new bathrooms and amenities. Unique "mood lighting" is also being fitted in the premium cabins offering light schemes that coincide with cabin activities and time of day to increase customer comfort and relaxation.

PASSENGERS ALERTED TO NEW US PASSPORT RULES: oneworld member airlines are alerting passengers booked to travel to the USA to tighter passport controls imposed by the US State Department. From 1 October, citizens from 27 countries participating in the visa waiver programme will have to hold a machine-readable passport upon arrival in the States. In addition, all children, including babies, will need their own machine-readable passport.

Countries participating in the visa waiver program include: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom.

Also, since earlier this month, the US authorities have been requiring passengers transferring between international flights in the USA to hold a US visa or be covered by the visa waiver agreements.

CHEERS TO FINNAIR'S RED WINE: The Château La Pointe 1999 Bordeaux served by Finnair to its longhaul Business Class passengers has been selected as the best red wine served by any airline in a tasting run by the US Business Traveler magazine.

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, LanChile, Finnair and Aer Lingus - enabling them to offer their customers more services and benefits than any of them can can provide on its own. This includes 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 countries than any other alliance – 136 territories and more than 550 destinations - and oneworld offers more alliance fare products, serving more markets, than all its competitors together. It was named the world's Best Airline Alliance by some of the world's most frequent flyers at the 2002 Business Traveller Awards, believed to be the first award for this sector of the travel industry. Its members' 1.900 aircraft operate some 8.500 flights a day.