Oneworld Airline Alliance Reaches Interline e-ticketing Landmark

Six more pairs of oneworld carriers will launch
interline electronic ticketing (e-ticketing) in the next few weeks, keeping
the world’s most international airline grouping on track to become the
first global alliance to offer this customer convenience between all of its
members.
With four pairs of partners already offering interline e-ticketing, this
latest phase of implementation takes oneworld more than a third of the way
towards its goal of completing its full roll-out between all eight of its
existing partners by the end of this year, along with Swiss International
Air Lines which is on track to join later this year.

These links between the oneworld partners represent around one in five
interline e-ticket agreements in place throughout the entire world airline
industry,  according to recent statistics from IATA,  the global air
transport association.

Aer Lingus and British Airways will both implement their first interline
e-ticketing agreements next month, with American Airlines in each case.

British Airways and Qantas aim then to roll out e-tickets on their kangaroo
routes between Europe and Australia, including the midway points in Asia,
including Bangkok
and Singapore,  and introduce interline e-ticketing between them across
their joint network, including all their code-share services.

During   the following weeks,  Iberia will offer its first interline
e-ticketing,  too - with American again.  This will make American the first
oneworld member to offer this benefit with all of other oneworld
partners.  Beyond the alliance, American already offers interline
e-ticketing
with 11 US carriers - more than any other airline.

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Meanwhile,  British Airways plans next to introduce the service with both
Aer Lingus and Finnair and with the remaining oneworld partners during the
following few months.

oneworld was the first of the global airline groupings to commit to
interline e-ticketing throughout all of its partners, some 18 months before
any of its competitors made a similar pledge.

American set the ball rolling in May 2002 with oneworld partner Finnair,
becoming the world’s first airlines based on separate continents to
introduce interline e-ticketing.  American extended the service in July
last year to fellow oneworld member LanChile, and to Cathay Pacific and
Qantas in November.

It will be extended on a phased basis by the end of 2004 between all one
world
airlines and Swiss International Air Lines, which is on track to join
the alliance later this year.

oneworld Managing Partner John McCulloch said: “These latest links keep us
firmly ahead of the competition in improving the experience for our
customers in this key area, enabling more of them to transfer more smoothly
and easily between our member airlines, making it easier still to reach
more places around the world.  We continue to work closely with all
oneworld   partners to make our alliance the first to offer
interline
e-ticketing throughout our grouping, by the end of this year, with all the
advantages that means for both our customers and member airlines.”

Interline e-ticketing eliminates the need for customers to have paper
tickets for travel,  thus enabling faster,  easier connections between
carriers.  Customers with electronic tickets traveling on a journey
involving a transfer between two airlines can be checked right through to
their final destination,  without the need for traditional paper tickets,
eliminating queues and making connections smoother and more reliable.

In addition,  it makes rebooking from a flight on one airline to a service
operated by another carrier more simple - if the need arises - with no need
to obtain a paper ticket first and then have that paper ticket endorsed by
a sales agent.

Electronic tickets are being used increasingly throughout the airline
industry.  Consumers prefer them because of the many advantages they
provide.  Electronic tickets cannot be lost or stolen.  They make check-in
quicker and smoother,  helping eliminate queues at airports by giving
customers access to the speed and convenience of new automation features,
such as self-service check-in devices.  Changes and refunds can also be
made faster and easier than with paper tickets.

Besides enabling them to respond to this consumer preference, e-tickets and
interline e-ticketing also provide substantial savings for the airlines, by
eliminating costly paper tickets and processes.

Between them,  oneworld’s existing eight member airlines plus member elect
SWISS serve more countries than any global airline alliance, with flights
to more than 570 destinations in 135 countries.  Members of any oneworld
airline’s frequent flyer programme can earn awards and points on eligible
fares and redeem them throughout this network. The eight airlines and their
affiliates carried more than 220 million passengers last year on a combined
fleet of almost 2,000 aircraft, earning revenues of some US$50 billion.
oneworld was recently named the World’s Leading Airline Alliance in the
World
Travel Awards, based on votes cast by 80,000 travel agencies professionals
from more than 200 countries.
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