The oneworld airline alliance today launches a major drive to gain a bigger share of the business travel market from Belgium.
The airline alliance offers small and medium-sized companies throughout the country discounts of up to almost 50 per cent on international air fares in return for a more regular relationship with the alliance.
Once they register, customers can use oneworld’s specially discounted “businessflyer” tickets to fly to more than a hundred cities in Europe, North America, South American, Asia and Australasia - all the most popular destinations for Belgian businesses - using any of the alliance’s carriers.
oneworld comprises eight of the world’s biggest and best airlines - American Airlines, British Airways, Qantas, Cathay Pacific Airways, Iberia, Finnair, LAN and Aer Lingus - plus their dozen affiliates. Early next year, they will be joined by Japan Airlines, MalÌ©v and Royal Jordanian.
Departures using these special businessflyer fares, which are flexible and tailored for business travel, are available from Brussels with some flights also from Amsterdam or Luxembourg.
Five of oneworld’s existing member airlines serve Belgium - American Airlines, British Airways, Iberia, Finnair and Aer Lingus. They offer around 25 departures a day from Brussels, linking it directly with 10 destinations - London Heathrow and Manchester in the UK, Madrid, Barcelona, Asturias and Santiago de Compostela in Spain, New York JFK and Chicago O’Hare in the USA, Finland’s Helsinki and Ireland’s Dublin - with easy onwards connections to the rest of the 600 plus cities served by the alliance worldwide.
Amsterdam is on-line to British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Iberia, Finnair and Aer Lingus, plus all three members elect, Japan Airlines, MalÌ©v and Royal Jordanian. Luxembourg is served by British Airways.
The announcement of Belgium as the latest market to benefit from oneworld’s businessflyer product was made in Brussels by the alliance’s Commercial Director Filip Lemmens - visiting his home country from his current operational base in Vancouver.
Filip Lemmens said: “Businesses in Belgium now have a real choice for their worldwide travel needs. By working together in this market, oneworld’s member airlines can offer a highly attractive alternative to the national carrier for travel right around the globe - flights on some of the highest quality airlines in the world, across an unrivalled international route network, with great flexibility and substantial financial savings.”
businessflyer was originally launched in Germany in 2003 and then extended to France, Switzerland and the Netherlands. More than 4,000 companies have signed up in these four markets - saving themselves millions of Euros in total on their air travel.
businessflyer fares are available for travel in business or economy class, enabling companies to benefit whatever the requirements of their travel policy. The tickets provide maximum flexibility, so itineraries or dates can be changed until just before departure. businessflyer fares attract frequent flyer rewards and tier status points.
oneworld is supporting the launch of businessflyer in Belgium with a massive direct mail campaign, posting details to thousands of small to medium businesses, organisations and to the travel trade companies.
To participate in the programme, customers in Belgium simply register online at www.oneworld.com/belgium The website gives full details on how to make reservations, which routes are available from each gateway, and the special fare levels applicable under the scheme.
Through just one point of contact, customers can select flights by the alliance’s member airlines from Brussels or Amsterdam to more than a hundred of the most popular destinations worldwide for Belgian business travellers. Once they have identified their choice of destination, flight and class of travel, they will be able to make their final reservations either through their usual travel agency or online at www.oneworld.com/belgium
The oneworld alliance was awarded World’s Leading Airline Alliance at this year’s World Travel Awards.