oneworld partner airlines generated record revenues from the alliance’s sales activities in the past year, with interline revenues rising to US$2.4 billion, up 10 per cent year-on-year. Revenues from oneworld fares and sales activity rose US$850 million, a 25 per cent increase.
These oneworld revenues grew significantly faster than member airlines’ overall passenger revenues, which collectively rose just 3.5 per cent.
Alliance sales in oneworld’s key European target markets were particularly strong, with the number of accounts registered for its businessflyer corporate sales product for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) rising 12 per cent to almost 10,000.
Yields from oneworld sales overall also remained solid, with a record 75 per cent of revenues generated by the alliance’s fares coming from tickets sold for travel in premium cabins.
Despite the downturn causing the first collective annual losses since 2003, benefits generated through their oneworld membership enabled member airlines to maintain their position as the alliance with the best financial track record. Based on latest full year results from members of all three alliances, oneworld members combined lost US$1.7 billion net - against total losses by Star members of US$8.8 billion and SkyTeam’s collective US$13.3 billion deficit.
Reflecting its focus on quality above quantity, oneworld continued its award-winning ways in the past year, voted the “World’s Leading Airline Alliance” for the sixth year running in the World Travel Awards, based on votes cast by some 170,000 travel professionals, including more than 110,000 travel agents in 164 countries. oneworld is the only alliance to have won this award since it was first presented.
The alliance’s latest results were revealed as the Chief Executives of its member airlines met in Kuala Lumpur for their mid-year oneworld Governing Board session - with S7 Airlines Chief Executive Vladimir Obyedkov and his team welcomed to their first oneworld gathering since the airline was elected on board last month as a member designate, to join next year.
oneworld Managing Partner John McCulloch said: “The results from the past year and from oneworld’s first decade as a whole make abundantly clear the growing value the alliance has added to all its key stakeholders.
“In an industry where profit margins are thin at best - let alone at times of global economic downturn - revenues and cost savings from oneworld have made an increasingly important contribution to our member airlines’ financial standings.
As oneworld starts its second decade, the alliance and its transatlantic airlines are working on plans to enable them to unlock even more of oneworld’s potential with further benefits and services for travellers, in anticipation of gaining anti-trust immunity (ATI) in the USA, with regulators there due to rule by late October on the ATI application by American Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia and Royal Jordanian. These carriers are also seeking the necessary regulatory approval from the European Union. The alliance is preparing too to welcome on board Mexicana and affiliate MexicanaClick later in 2009.
Also this year, the alliance’s biggest airport co-location project to date will be completed, with all of its on-line airlines at London Heathrow completing their moves from across all five of the airport’s terminals into just two - Terminals 3 and 5. At Barcelona, all oneworld on-line airlines will also move later this year into the new Terminal Sur.