oneworld, the leading global airline alliance, has appointed its first full-time media relations and communications head.
Michael Blunt is to join the alliance’s central management team as Vice-President Public Relations, moving from oneworld member British Airways, where he has some 20 years’ experience across the spectrum of internal and external communications, covering virtually every senior role in this arena. He is currently the airline’s Head of Alliances Communications and Special Projects.
In his new role, effective May 1, he will report to oneworld’s Managing Partner Peter Buecking, with responsibility for media relations for the alliance worldwide and for leading its internal communications programme across all eight members - Aer Lingus, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Finnair, Iberia, LanChile and Qantas - and their 23 affiliate airlines.
Working closely with the in-house PR and Communications Departments of all oneworld carriers, he will split his base between a oneworld facility at British Airways’ corporate offices at Waterside, London Heathrow, and the alliance’s main management centre at Vancouver, Canada.
oneworld is the most global of the world’s airline alliances, with its members offering flights to 133 countries. Last year, its member airlines carried more than 200 million passengers - equivalent to one in 30 of the world’s population - with a oneworld flight taking off every 14 seconds around the clock. The oneworld member airlines employ almost 275,000 people, operate fleets of some 1,900 aircraft, serve 566 destinations and generate more than US$50 billion in annual revenues.
Announcing the appointment, Peter Buecking said: “It is great news for oneworld that Michael has agreed to move across to work with the alliance on a permanent basis at this crucial phase of its development. There can be few if any communications professionals in the world with more airline experience.”
Rod Eddington, British Airways’ Chief Executive and current Chairman of the oneworld Governing Board, said: “Michael’s appointment underlines British Airways’ commitment to oneworld and our determination to strengthen its position as the worldwide market leader.”