oneworld has extended its lead as the most international of the global airline alliances. Latest statistics, based on flying programmes for the northern hemisphere summer flying season, as displayed in the OAG Á¤industry bibleÁ¬ compilation of schedules, shows that the eight members of the oneworld alliance currently serve 135 countries and territories - ÁV up one from December with Papua New Guinea added to the allianceÁ?s map with Qantas resuming its own services to the islands. The next most international alliance, Star, has seen its country count drop by two to 125, while SkyTeam currently operates to 112 different Á¤countries and territoriesÁ¬.
The number of destinations on the oneworld map currently stands at 572, with Burlington rejoining the network as American Eagle resumed services to the Vermont airport twice a day from Chicago OÁ?Hare.
The allianceÁ?s combined fleet has grown to above 2,000 ÁV up from 1,876 in January to 2,023 now, with growth of aircraft numbers at Qantas following the demise of Ansett and the inclusion of TWA and AmericanConnection airplanes at AA making up for reductions at most of the other carriers. oneworld airlines ÁV Aer Lingus, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Finnair, Iberia, LanChile and Qantas ÁV are currently operating an average of 8,511flights a day ÁV equivalent to an arrival or departure every five seconds around the clock.
LanChile and Qantas are linking their Santiago and Sydney hubs through a new code-share agreement. LanChile will launch thrice-weekly flights between the Australian and Chilean capitals on 1 July, flying via Auckland, with all services also carrying QantasÁ? QF codes. Passengers will be able to connect at Santiago with LanChileÁ?s extensive South American network, covering Chile, Argentina, Brazil and other countries throughout the region. In Sydney, there will be convenient connections to Qantas Australian domestic and South Pacific timetable.
LanChile and American Airlines are to expand their code-sharing agreement to cover another five US routes, making travel easier between South America and the USA. From 8 May, the LA code has been added to AA flights between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Oakland, Phoenix, San Diego and San Jose. LanChile flies daily services between Los Angeles and Santiago.
American Airlines has launched daily non-stop Boeing 777 flights between New York JFK and Tokyo Narita, which becomes becomes the 19th international city and the 41st non-stop destination offered by the airline from the airport, where it is currently building a new US$1.3 billion, 55-gate terminal.
?ç Qantas launches new, daily services between Melbourne and Tokyo Narita on 1 July, using Boeing 767-300s. Northbound, four of the flights will be non-stop, with the remaining three operating via Sydney, while all southbound services will be non-stop. It will take the number of Qantas flights between Australia and Japan to 54 a week.
Transfers between Aer LingusÁ? Irish flights and the British Airways network at London Gatwick have become a great deal easier with the transfer of the Irish carrierÁ?s operations from the South to the North Terminal.
American Airlines is to fly to Vancouver from a third point in the USA, linking the British Columbian city with its Chicago OÁ?Hare hub from 15 June through to the end of September, with daily, non-stop flights. AA already serves Vancouver from its Dallas/Fort Worth and St Louis hubs. The city is also on-line to British Airways from London, and Cathay Pacific, flying from Hong Kong and on to New York JFK.
Qantas is to add another nine return services between Australia and New Zealand from 1 July, taking the number of return flights operated by the airline between the two countries to more than a hundred a week ?ç Three additional return services a week between Sydney and Christchurch ?ç Another three weekly frequencies between Melbourne and Christchurch ?ç Two more weekly flights between Melbourne and Auckland ?ç One increased frequency between Sydney and Auckland.
Iberia continues with its fleet modernization programme, with the delivery of two new Airbus A320s with a third along with an A340 to follow this month as it retires three older A300s. With an average aircraft age of around seven years, the Spanish airline has one of the youngest fleets in Europe.
American Airlines is to install new seats and increase legroom in the first class cabin of the 74 Fokker F100s in its fleet. Seat pitch will be extended from the current 38 inches to 40 inches, with the new seats featuring the first lumbar support pillow installed on AAÁ?s domestic, narrow-bodied aircraft, a larger cocktail tray table and other improvements.
Cathay Pacific will reinstate its double-daily, non-stop Boeing 747-400 service between Hong Kong and Los Angeles on 1 August, after increasing the current daily flights to ten a week from 1 June. Frequencies between Hong Kong and Vancouver will rise from 11 to 14 a week from 1 July, with Boeing 747-400s replacing smaller Airbus A340-300s on its San Francisco flights at the same time.
Aer Lingus launches twice-weekly flights between Dublin and Faro on 3 June ÁV its fifth new destination so far this year.
Passengers flying LanExpress, the LanChile regional and oneworld affiliate, can now check-in via the internet, printing out a copy of their boarding pass directly from LanChileÁ?s website, www.lanchile.com, enabling them to embark directly without having to go through airport check-in counters.
American Airlines will begin non-stop services between Miami International and Medellin, in Colombia, on 15 June, flying Boeing 757-200s five times a week. It will be the airlineÁ?s third destination in Colombia, with Bogota and Cali already on its network map. Finnair has restored its New York frequencies to daily, adding back two weekly services after reducing capacity on the route following 11 September. At JFK, it operates at American AirlinesÁ? JFK terminal, with AA connections to and from many points across the USA.