oneworld alliance strongly supports application for anti-trust immunity by American Airlines and its transatlantic partners

15 August 2008

The oneworld® global airline alliance has warmly welcomed and strongly supports the application for anti-trust immunity filed today by its members American Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia and Royal Jordanian.

The filing was made as American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia signed a joint business agreement covering their flights between North America and Europe and unveiled plans for further co-operation (see

oneworld Managing Partner John McCulloch said: "oneworld has for many years been the only global alliance without the benefit of anti-trust immunity between its key transatlantic partners.  This has put oneworld at a considerable disadvantage.  We've had to work a great deal harder and smarter than our competitors to deliver the alliance services and benefits that our customers have come to appreciate so much.

"The competitive landscape has now changed fundamentally.  Our rival alliances SkyTeam and Star have grown much bigger and the anti-trust immunity they enjoy has been extended far more widely.  Meanwhile, the first phase of the new Europe-USA so-called "open skies" agreement is now in place, with five big new competitors launching a dozen daily flights between London Heathrow and the USA this flying season alone.

"Anti-trust immunity between oneworld's transatlantic partners would enable them to unlock even more of oneworld's potential, enabling us to operate under the same rules as our alliance competitors.  For consumers, that means stronger inter-alliance competition, more choice, more services and more benefits."

The agreement announced today would result in the ending of oneworld's current transatlantic frequent flyer "carve out", which prevents members of American Airlines' AAdvantage and British Airways Executive Club loyalty programmes from earning or redeeming miles, or earning tier status credit, on the other airline's transatlantic flights.

About oneworld

oneworld brings together ten 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. 

Between them, these airlines:

  • Serve almost 700 airports in nearly 150 countries, with some 9.000 daily departures.
  • Offer nearly 550 airport lounges for premium customers.
  • Carry 320 million passengers a year.
  • Employ more than 250.000 people.
  • Operate almost 2.500 aircraft.
  • Generate more than US$100 billion annual revenues.
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 was voted the World's Leading Airline Alliance for the fifth year running in the latest (2007) World Travel Awards.