oneworld signs on three destinations

Three more destinations - two in Australia and one in West Africa - are lining up to join the network served by the oneworld alliance. The two new Australian points are both in Queensland - Hervey Bay, gateway to the World Heritage listed Fraser Island, which affiliate QantasLink will link with Brisbane 32 times a week, and Biloela, which provides access to access to a number of mining projects in the centre of the state, which QantasLink will serve from Brisbane four flights a day. Both new routes will be launched from 29 October.

oneworld is the only global alliance with a full network in Australia, served by founder member Qantas and its QantasLink regional affiliate.

The day after these two new points are brought on-line, affiliate BMED, which flies as a franchisee of British Airways, will inaugurate service to Sierra Leone’s Freetown. It will serve the West African city with three Airbus A321s a week to and from London Heathrow. BMED will serve it in conjunction with Dakar, in Senegal, which is already on the oneworld map through Iberia.

All ten of the world’s fastest growing longhaul routes serve oneworld hubs:

All ten of the world’s fastest growing longhaul air routes serve oneworld hubs. The intercontinental aviation markets with the biggest growth in demand worldwide have been identified by air information company Ascend, which calculated the growth in available seats between all city pairs in the past decade.

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Topping the survey were links serving oneworld hubs London, Chicago, Hong Kong, Sydney, Singapore, Melbourne, Brisbane and New York:

1 London-Dubai, which has seen capacity increase by 848,270 seats in ten years to 2006.

2 London-Chicago, up 552,691 seats.

3 London-Hong Kong, up 481,675.

4 Melbourne-Singapore, up 470,023.

5 Sydney-Singapore, up 441,954.

6 London-Singapore, up 407,773.

7 London-Mumbai, up 390,940.

8 Dubai-Singapore, up 370,630.

9 London-New York, up 369,885.

10Brisbane-Singapore, up 308,952.

American unveils its new business class, complete with lie-flat seat beds:

American Airlines has unveiled its Next Generation Business Class, offering more comfort, flexibility and privacy, including seats that convert into lie-flat beds and in-flight entertainment with video and audio on demand. They are being installed first on its Boeing 767-300s, with the entire fleet to be equipped by early next year, when the new cabins will be expanded to its 777s. At the same time, the airline will also extend its Flagship Suites First Class product throughout that 777 fleet.

The new Business Class seat extends to 77 ins in lie-flat position. Passengers can drop their outer armrest to expand its width to 23 ins, and increase privacy by raising a divider between the seats. It is the only Business Class seat in the industry that has the ability to move forward while in the upright position, enabling customers to move the seat forward so they are offset from their fellow passengers for added privacy and comfort. Tracking forward also allows travelers to move closer to the tray table and powerport.

Passengers will be able to select from 14 feature films and ten hours of television and news programmes to watch on their individual 10.6 ins screens. Overhead bins are also being redesign to offer more space, and state-of-the-art lighting installed.

Carriers serving Bangkok prepare to move to new airport in late September: oneworld’s member airlines serving Bangkok, along with all other operators at the city, will transfer operations from Don Muang to the new Suvarnabhumi airport in late next month. British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair and Qantas serve the airport, along with members elect Japan Airlines, Malév and Royal Jordanian. They will be co-located in the new airport, which will open for operations on 28 September.

BA to launch third route between oneworld hubs London and Madrid: British Airways is to launch a third route between its London home base and the Madrid hub of oneworld partner Iberia, with its BA Connect regional affiliate inaugurating flights between London City, close to the UK capital’s financial centre, and Barajas. It will offer two flights a day on the route from late October, offering its Club Europe business cabin and Euro Traveller economy. BA mainline already serves Madrid from London Heathrow and Gatwick.

BA Connect, a oneworld affiliate, is also increasing services between Manchester and Milan from two to three flights a day, and adding an additional daily frequency between London Gatwick and Isle of Man, giving four on weekdays and three at weekends. It is, however, suspending services to Isle of Man from London Luton and between Birmingham and Belfast.


Finnair to up-grade links between its Helsinki home and Madrid hub to non-stop:

Finnair is upgrading services between its Helsinki home and the Madrid hub of oneworld partner Iberia to non-stop from late October. They currently operate via Stockholm. It is also scrapping its stop at the Swedish capital on its Manchester route. The Nordic carrier will retime its Barcelona-Helsinki flights at the same time to provide smoother connections to and from its Asian routes.

Finnair is also to resume services to Lisbon from 29 March, with Airbus A320s flying non-stop to and from its Helsinki hub an initial three times a week. The Portuguese capital is already served by oneworld through Aer Lingus, British Airways and Iberia. The following month, Finnair will join oneworld partners British Airways and member elect Malév in serving Bucharest. It will link its Helsinki hub with the Romanian capital with four Embraer regional jets a week from April.

Qantas to increase frequencies to future oneworld hub Tokyo Narita:

Qantas is to increase capacity between its Sydney hub and the Tokyo Narita base of oneworld member elect Japan Airlines from 2 October, with frequencies on the route increased from seven to 11 a week, with Airbus A330-300s replacing the existing Boeing 747-300s. Japan Airlines will become part of the alliance from early next year, along with fellow recruits Malév and Royal Jordanian.

Aer Lingus to start charging for check-in baggage on shorthaul routes:

Aer Lingus is to start charging passengers for checking in baggage on shorthaul flights from 17 January, just ahead of its departure from oneworld.

The new charge will apply to flights from then and booked from 8 August. Each bag will cost EUR4 if booked in advance by the airline’s website, or EUR8 at the airport. Changes are also being made to its longhaul baggage policy, with passengers flying on its intercontinental routes able to check-in up to 36 kgs of baggage without charge from 5 September.

The Irish airline is leaving oneworld as its low-fare point-to-point strategy is no longer convergent with oneworld’s focus on multi-sector, premium, frequent international passengers. Its withdrawal from the alliance will take place as Japan Airlines, Malév and Royal Jordanian join in oneworld’s biggest expansion to date.

oneworld was voted the World’s Leading Airline Alliance for the third year running in the latest World Travel Awards, based on votes cast by 80,000 travel agency professionalsfrom more than 200 countries.

one world has again been nominated this year for a

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World Travel Award as the World’s Leading Airline Alliance.
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