oneworld, the airline alliance that “revolves around you”, is one-year-old today. It marks its first anniversary by announcing the formation of a central management team to drive future growth and the launch of new customer services and benefits.
In its first year of operation, oneworld has expanded substantially, helped millions of travellers reach more places more easily and firmly established itself as one of the world’s leading and most widely recognised alliance brands.
The oneworld central management company (oMC) will be charged with building on its success. It will be led by Peter Buecking, who will be stepping down from his current role as Sales and Marketing Director with Cathay Pacific Airways. As oneworld Managing Partner, he will report to the alliance’s Governing Board, comprising the Chief Executives of each of the member airlines.
The oMC will lead the work currently spread across project teams drawn from the member airlines, achieving greater cost efficiency while speeding development times, monitoring quality standards and ensuring a shared vision.
Mr Buecking will establish a small team of executives, who will lead oneworld’s customer service, marketing, IT and finance activities. Recruitment for these posts is currently underway, with the central management team expected to be up and running by the middle of the year.
With effect from April 2000, this central management team will be based in Vancouver, underlining the alliance’s commitment to continue to offer the Canadian market choice and high quality services.
In the alliance’s first year of operation, its member airlines:
á Carried almost 200 million passengers - equivalent to one in 30 of the world population.
á Flown 2.2 billion miles (3.5 billion kms) - equivalent to around 12 return trips to the Sun.
á Operated around two million flights - with a oneworld airline departure somewhere around the world every 14 seconds.
Peter Buecking said: “oneworld has got off to a tremendous start, achieving great impact in the marketplace and delivering real benefits to millions of air travellers. It’s been an excellent first year. I feel privileged to have been asked to play a central role in firmly establishing oneworld as the world’s number one airline alliance, and the most customer-focussed, as we enter our second year.”
oneworld’s five founding members - American Airlines, British Airways, Canadian Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways and Qantas Airways - were joined by Finnair and Iberia on 1 September, with Aer Lingus and LanChile to follow later this year.
These airlines successfully integrated frequent flyer programmes and airport lounge access and established many other passenger benefits across their global systems. The oneworld logo quickly established itself as one of the more recognisable symbols in the airline world, on display in more than 650 airports around the world, on almost 2,000 aircraft and on hundreds of millions of ticket wallets and other items of stationery.
oneworld’s award-winning advertising - named “Best International Campaign” by the leading advertising industry magazine Media Week in its 1999 awards -
played a major role in raising public awareness of the alliance and the services it offers.
Also, oneworld is the first world airline alliance to adopt a charitable cause. Its members have pledged to raise US$25 million for UNICEF during the next five years, and are encouraging all their customers to donate unused foreign coins and notes to the cause.