Dragonair will join oneworld on 1 November. Its addition to oneworld is expected to be completed before the other airline alliances bring their Chinese members on board.Hong Kong-based Dragonair serves more destinations in Mainland China - 19 in total - than any other airline not based there, with some 400 flights a week.
Twelve of these destinations will be new to the oneworld network - Chongqing, Changsha, Chengdu, Fuzhou, Haikou, Kunming, Guilin, Ningbo, Nanjing, Shenyang, Sanya and Wuhan. With their addition, oneworld will serve a total of 22 destinations in Mainland China.
Elsewhere, Dragonair will add Kota Kinabalu (Malaysia), Phnom Penh (Cambodia) and Phuket (Thailand) to the alliance map. By adding Phnom Penh, oneworld will connect with one new country - Cambodia.
Dragonair was elected on board oneworld late last year, following its integration with alliance founder member Cathay Pacific Airways in September 2006. While it is now part of the Cathay Pacific group, Dragonair has retained its own brand and identity, market positioning and separate “KA” flight code.
It will be the 11th carrier to board oneworld this year, in the alliance’s biggest expansion programme since its launch. Japan Airlines and five of its affiliates, Malév Hungarian Airlines and Royal Jordanian Airlines all joined on 1 April, along with affiliates LAN Argentina and LAN Ecuador.
As a oneworld affiliate member, Dragonair will offer the alliance’s full range of services and benefits. This means its frequent flyers will be able to earn and redeem mileage awards on all other oneworld carriers. Top-tier members will have access to the 500 airport lounges worldwide offered by the alliance’s airlines.
Members of other oneworld airlines’ frequent flyer programmes will be able to earn and redeem awards and receive all other oneworld benefits on Dragonair from 1 November, when its network will also be covered by oneworld’s extensive range of alliance fares.
oneworld Managing Partner John McCulloch announced Dragonair’s joining date today on a visit to its Hong Kong home to address the Asian Aerospace Congress, held in the city for the first time.
He said: “Since its launch eight years ago, oneworld has been the only alliance with a member from greater China, in our Hong Kong-based founder member Cathay Pacific. The addition of Dragonair means that oneworld will maintain its lead in this important, fast-growing region. With our combination of Dragonair, Cathay Pacific and the award-winning Hong Kong hub, it means that oneworld will offer the best quality airline service for travel to or from the whole of China.”
Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Tony Tyler said: “We are delighted that Dragonair will become an affiliate member of oneworld, offering alliance passengers greater access to a wider range of destinations in Mainland China. As one of the founder members of oneworld, Cathay Pacific recognises the value of being part of this grouping of high-quality airlines and we are sure Dragonair’s joining will add value for alliance customers and fellow member airlines alike.”
Dragonair Chief Executive Officer Kenny Tang added: “Becoming an affiliate member of oneworld is an exciting development for Dragonair and is yet another benefit to result from our joining the Cathay Pacific group. We are pleased that oneworld customers will be able to connect through Hong Kong to our extensive network of destinations in Mainland China, along with the other business and leisure destinations we serve within the Asia Pacific region.”