oneworld® today completed the biggest expansion in its history with Japan Airlines, Malév Hungarian Airlines and Royal Jordanian all now offering the alliance’s services and benefits as full members. Seven other airlines have joined at the same time as affiliate members - LAN Argentina and LAN Ecuador and JAL associates JALways, Japan Asia Airways, JAL Express, J-AIR and Japan Transocean Air.
Their addition has expanded oneworld substantially, to:
Members of the JAL Mileage Bank (JMB), Malév Duna Club and Royal Jordanian Royal Plus frequent flyer programmes can now earn and redeem mileage awards on all other oneworld carriers.
JAL Global Club Premier, JMB Diamond and Sapphire, Malév Duna Platinum and Gold and Royal Jordanian Platinum and Gold Plus cardholders can also now gain access to the 400 airport lounges worldwide offered by the alliance’s airlines.
Frequent flyer programme members of the established oneworld airlines - American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Finnair, Iberia, LAN Airlines and Qantas - can now earn and redeem awards and receive all other oneworld benefits on JAL, Malév, Royal Jordanian, LAN Argentina and LAN Ecuador.
The networks of these airline recruits are also now covered by oneworld’s extensive range of alliance fares and sales products.
oneworld has been the only global airline alliance with the customer convenience of interline e-ticketing between all its partners for two years already, enabling passengers to transfer between its airlines’ flights without the need for traditional paper tickets.
The same convenience is extended across the alliance’s recruits as they board the grouping, as part of a comprehensive programme which has seen all their internal processes and procedures brought into line with the alliance’s requirements.
Tens of thousands of employees from the airlines have participated in a special training programme to ensure they can deliver the alliance’s services and benefits from Day One, and dozens of its IT systems linked to those at the other oneworld airlines.
Signage at the 700 airports served by the alliance’s member airlines and at hundreds of sales outlets worldwide will be changed from today to reflect oneworld’s new membership line-up.
oneworld Managing Partner John McCulloch said: "Today is a truly historic day for the oneworld alliance, for our new member airlines and for our customers worldwide. Our recruits have enabled oneworld to broaden its coverage in three of the world’s fastest growing regions for air travel. We have added the quality and strength of more great brands to the world’s leading airline alliance, and further increased the value, choice and range that we offer our oneworld customers."
JAL Group Chief Executive Haruka Nishimatsu said: "Becoming part of oneworld today represents an historic milestone for Japan Airlines - and a huge opportunity for JAL. It means we can offer our customers more choice, convenience, and better value - quality air travel options and benefits beyond the reach of any individual airline or bilateral partnership, across all the alliance’s world-class member airlines and their affiliates. I am confident that oneworld will equally benefit from having us in its team."
Malév Chief Executive János Gönci said: "All of us at Malév are thrilled that this great day has finally arrived. We are very proud to have joined the world’s leading airline alliance as its representative from Central and East Europe. Our months of preparation have confirmed our belief that oneworld and its member airlines are outstanding professionals and industry leaders, and we are certain that this follows through to the benefit of the customers of oneworld the world over. Malév’s joining of the alliance will open up the power of oneworld to even more customers in even more markets than ever before"
Royal Jordanian Chief Executive Samer Majali said: "Royal Jordanian is delighted to have become part of oneworld - as the first airline from the Middle East to join any of the global airline alliances. We will benefit considerably from our membership - through increased revenues, the ability to reduce costs and the opportunities to work together in all sorts of areas with some of the most highly regarded businesses in this industry. We also believe Royal Jordanian adds considerable value to oneworld, strengthening its network significantly in the world’s fastest growing region for air travel demand."
Dragonair, named China’s best airline for the past five years by the SkyTrax airline quality organisation and serving more destinations in Mainland China then any other airline based outside the mainland, will join oneworld as an affiliate member later this year.
Also from today, Aer Lingus has withdrawn from oneworld, with its low-fare, point-to-point strategy no longer in line with the alliance’s main focus on multi-sector, premium, frequent, international travellers.
About Japan Airlines
JAL was the largest airline in the world not aligned to a multilateral global alliance until it lined up to join oneworld. It is the biggest carrier in the Asia-Pacific region and one of the top airlines in the world on any count. On virtually every measure, it becomes one of the biggest three airlines in oneworld.
With its five oneworld affiliates, it serves almost 90 destinations in 24 countries. It has added nearly 50 airports to the alliance network - almost 40 of them in Japan, and the rest in China and elsewhere in Asia. It has brought one new territory onto the oneworld map, in Guam.
It operates more than 250 aircraft and earned revenues last year of JPY2.2 trillion (US$20 billion).
About Malév Hungarian Airlines
Malév serves around 60 destinations in 35 countries, mainly in Europe. Its Budapest hub will become oneworld’s primary gateway to Central and Eastern Europe. Malév adds ten cities to the oneworld network, all of them in Central and Eastern Europe, and two countries – Montenegro and the Republic of Macedonia.
With some 3,000 staff, Malév carried more than 3 million passengers in 2006. Its fleet comprises some 30 aircraft, with an average age of just five years old. It earned revenues last year of US$690 million.
It was recently named Best Airline in East Europe by North American magazine Global Traveler and has been voted Best Airline of the Year for the past three years running by travel agents, business people and other travellers in a poll by Hungary’s Az Utazó (The Traveller) magazine.
About Royal Jordanian
Royal Jordanian serves more than 50 destinations in 33 countries, including 27 points in the Levant, Middle East, Gulf and North Africa, along with points in Asia, Europe and North America. It operates a fleet of almost 25 aircraft, most of them delivered in the past year or so - including Airbus A340s, A321s and A320s and Embraer 195s. Last year, the airline boarded 1.7 million passengers and earned revenues of US$546 million.
Royal Jordanian received the prestigious Phoenix Award from Air Transport World earlier this year and a similar award from the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation late in 2006, both in recognition of its successful restructuring programme which has seen the company restored to profitability, re-equipped with a new fleet and with a refocused network.
About LAN Argentina and LAN Ecuador
LAN Argentina launched passenger and cargo services in June 2005. Today it operates a comprehensive domestic network serving ten points within Argentina and international services, with a fleet of five Airbus A320s, and two Boeing 767-300s.
LAN Ecuador launched passenger and cargo services in April 2003. Today it operates from hubs at Quito and Guayaquil to Buenos Aires, Madrid, Miami, New York and Santiago, with Airbus A320s and Boeing 767-300s.
The LAN alliance overall operates 70 passenger aircraft, carrying some 9 million passengers in 2006, with revenues in 2006 totalling US$3 billion. It is regularly named best airline in Latin America in the various industry award schemes.
They make oneworld the only global alliance with any airline members from the Americas south of Mexico.
oneworld enables its member airlines 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.
It is the only alliance whose members collectively achieved a profit in their latest full financial years, and 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.
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