Oneworld: The Alliance To Serve The World Takes Off On February 1

London, January 25, 1999: American Airlines, British Airways, Canadian Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways and Qantas Airways will implement their oneworld? global alliance next week (Monday, February 1), the five airlines confirmed today.

From then, they will together phase in a wide range of initiatives designed to provide their 174 million passengers with improved levels of service and benefits, greater value and increased opportunities for rewards and recognition when flying to the more than 600 destinations worldwide served by the oneworld carriers.

These include:

* closer linking of their frequent flyer programmes. This will enable members of the five airlines` frequent flyer programmes to earn and redeem miles on any eligible flights and fares of the oneworld alliance airlines. Qualifying flights will also count towards frequent flyer tier status.

* top tier frequent flyer cards will be reissued with new Emerald, Sapphire and Ruby symbols, to ensure members receive the appropriate recognition and privileges to which they are accustomed no matter on which of the five airlines they are flying.


* access to the five airlines` 200 plus exclusive lounges for eligible members of their frequent flyer schemes, no matter on which of the five airlines they are travelling, along with priority check-in, standby and waitlisting, and preferred seating and boarding.

* smoother transfers for passengers travelling across the global networks of the five carriers.

* greater support, with employees of each airline equipped to assist and care for customers travelling with any of the oneworld airlines.

* greater value, through a range of round-the-world products, including the launch of oneworld Explorer fares, with prices from £860.

Full details are being sent to top tier members of the five airline’s frequent flyer programmes, in an extensive direct mail campaign. The packages include new frequent flyer programme membership cards, reflecting the new oneworld branding.

Details, which have also been mailed to hundreds of thousands of corporate customers and travel agents around the world, are attached as notes to editors and are also carried on the oneworld website on the Internet.

The communications programme launched today follows an estimated 255 man years spent by the 220,000 employees of the five airlines on oneworld training and communication, to ensure they are in a position to deliver what the brand offers.

Hundreds more man years have been spent planning the introduction of the services and benefits, developing and linking IT systems and preparing the millions items of airport signage and stationery to support the brand.

oneworld signs will start appearing in airport terminals, shops and various other premises used by the five carriers from February 1. Thousand of items of signage will be installed around the world. A small version of the logo will also be placed by the door of the 1,500 aircraft in the oneworld members’ fleets.

Worldwide advertising will promote the alliance through the slogan “oneworld revolves around you”.

Bob Ayling, Chief Executive of British Airways, said: “As an alliance, oneworld can offer our customers benefits on a scale that we could not contemplate as individual airlines.

“Together, we are committed to making oneworld the leading, most customer-focused and most customer-friendly global airline alliance. Our whole approach is to make global travel easier and more rewarding for our customers.”

Finnair, which has joined oneworld since the original five airlines announced the alliance on September 21, will introduce oneworld services and benefits later this year, once it has completed its oneworld employee training and communications programme and carried out all the necessary IT and facilities preparation.