aword from oneworld: February 2007

21 February 2007

oneworld wins award as best airline alliance for in-flight wines: oneworld has been named the best airline alliance for in-flight wines in Business Traveller magazine's 2006 Cellars in the Sky Awards. Presented at the UK Business Travel Show last week, the awards are run in association with Wine & Spirit magazine and the International Wine Challenge, with the blind tastings taking place over two days by four leading wine experts.

oneworld's member airlines also received more awards and nominations than members of both other global airline alliances combined, with oneworld carriers collecting eight top trophies, and 36 nominations.

Among the alliance's member airlines British Airways took three top honours, for best consistency of wines across First and Business Class, best First Class fortified wine and best First Class "wild card" wine (not covered by any specific award category). Qantas received two trophies - for most original First Class wine list, best Business Class sparkling wine. American Airlines was judged as offering the overall best First Class wine cellar and Finnair won the title as best Business Class "wild card" wine. Japan Airlines, which will join oneworld on 1 April, received the trophy for best First Class red wine.

Other oneworld member airlines to receive nominations included Cathay Pacific, Iberia and LAN Airlines.

The Cellars in the Sky awards are presented annual to "celebrate the best wines served by airlines in Business and First Class". A record 35 airlines competed for the 2006 trophies, which were presented by renowned wine expert and co-chairman of the International Wine Challenge Charles Metcalfe.

Royal Jordanian joins alliance's Global Explorer round-the-world fare: Royal Jordanian has started participating in the Global Explorer round-the-world fare, which includes all oneworld members and affiliates and selected other airlines which are not part of the alliance. Japan Airlines and Malév, the other two carriers lining up to join oneworld, are already participating in the fare. All the alliance's other fares and sales products will be extended to all three airlines when they start offering the full range of oneworld services and benefits from 1 April.

BA to add UK surf spot Newquay to oneworld network: Newquay, gateway to some of Europe's best surfing beaches, is to join the oneworld network with British Airways linking the UK West Country airport with London Gatwick from 20 March. As the main airport serving Cornwall, Newquay, which has the three-letter IATA code NQY, provides easy access to some of the UK's most popular regions for tourism. The airline will serve the route with Boeing 737s daily.

Member elect RJ to connect future oneworld hubs Amman and Budapest: Member elect Royal Jordanian is to link its Amman hub with the Budapest base of fellow oneworld recruit Malév. It will inaugurate service on the route in June. Both airlines will start offering oneworld services and benefits from 1 April.

oneworld airlines take top honours in Global Traveler awards: oneworld member airlines took seven top places in the latest annual awards from US magazine Global Traveler. British Airways was named Best Airline in the World, to go along with its Airline of the Year titles from the SkyTrax airline quality organization and the World Travel Awards. The UK carrier was also named Global Traveler's Best Airline for Business Class. In the regional awards, American was named Best Airline for Domestic First Class, LAN Best in Central/South America, Finnair Best in Nordic Countries, Qantas Best in South Pacific, and member elect Malév Best in Eastern Europe. The awards were based on a survey of some 13.500 of the magazine's readers.

Finnair adds Mumbai to network as its quadruples its Indian schedule: Mumbai is to join the Finnair network in the latest phase of the airline's Asian expansion strategy, as it quadruples its Indian frequencies to 12 a week. It is also increasing its non-stops to oneworld hub Hong Kong to daily from four a week.

Its new Mumbai flights will start in June, with five non-stops a week from its Helsinki hub. In May, it will raise its existing thrice weekly schedule to Delhi to daily. It joins British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Qantas and member elect Royal Jordanian at Mumbai.

The increase in Hong Kong non-stops also takes place in May, when Guangzhou schedules rise too, with a fourth weekly operation.

Iberia launches flights to Algiers, Boston and Bucharest: Iberia is to launch flights to Boston from May, joining American Airlines and British Airways in serving the New England airport. The Spanish airline will operate non-stops to and from its Madrid hub an initial five times a week.

It will be the third oneworld member to serve Bucharest when it launches services between the Romanian capital and Madrid from 3 March with an initial two round trips a week. British Airways and Finnair already serve the city, along with member elect Malév.

Iberia has just launched a link between Madrid and Algiers with an initial two return flights a week, operated by Airbus A319s. Algiers is also already on the oneworld network through services by British Airways.

American to serve Rome throughout the year: American Airlines will up-grade its service between Rome and the USA to year-round from mid April. It flies to the Eternal City from both Chicago O'Hare and New York JFK, using two-class Boeing 767-300s. The airline had previously served these routes during the summer season only. It will offer daily schedules on both routes during the summer, dropping to four a week from Chicago and three a week from New York during the winter.


Qantas to raise San Francisco frequencies: Qantas is to increase frequencies between its Sydney base and San Francisco from three to five a week from late March, a year after resuming services on the route. The additions will replace two of the airline's existing 35 services a week between Australia and Los Angeles. Los Angeles will, however, increase its Los Angeles schedule by two flights a week during the northern hemisphere summer peak.

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, plus their dozen affiliates. Japan Airlines, Malév and Royal Jordanian will start offering the alliance's services and benefits from 1 April, with Dragonair, LAN Argentina and LAN Ecuador also joining as affiliate members during 2007.

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 is the only alliance to enable passengers to fly throughout its network, on any combination of carriers, using just electronic tickets.   oneworld is the only global alliance with airline members in the Americas south of Mexico and in Australia.

oneworld was voted the World's Leading Airline Alliance for the fourth year running in the 2006 World Travel Awards, based on votes cast by some 170.000 travel professionals, including more than 110.000 travel agents in 200 countries. It is also the only alliance whose members reported collective profits in their latest full year.