Aer Lingus, today, November 25, 1999, concluded Alliance agreements with both American Airlines and British Airways. The agreements will lead to a range of new benefits for existing and new Aer Lingus customers. Among the elements included in the cooperative agreements are frequent flyer programme reciprocity, lounge access interchange and codesharing across a range of flights.
Commenting on the alliances, Aer Lingus` Group Chief Executive, Garry Cullen said the finalisation of agreements with American Airlines and British Airways was a fundamental strategic development for Aer Lingus. “We are delighted to form partnerships with two great global airlines - American Airlines and British Airways. Our aim is to work in partnership with both carriers to provide our growing number of customers with a wider network of services, increased value and extra benefits”.
“We are pleased to welcome Aer Lingus to the AADVANTAGE frequent flyer program, and we look forward to launching the other elements of our alliance as soon as possible,” said Don Carty, American`s chairman and chief executive officer. “This collaboration demonstrates our ongoing commitment to providing our customers with the best frequent flyer program in the world, the most extensive route network and outstanding value.”
Bob Ayling, British Airways` Chief Executive, said: “British Airways is very pleased to be building on our long-standing and successful relationship with Aer Lingus to the benefit of our customers and both companies. Our two airlines have a great deal in common with strategies built on providing quality services.”
In outlining the principal areas of partnership within the agreements, Mr. Cullen highlighted the key benefits which Aer Lingus customers would gain from this cooperation. The codeshare greements will increase the range of flight options available to Aer Lingus customers by offering more destinations and frequencies to customers. Codesharing enables the next best level of service after direct services and avoids the need to change airlines simplifying ticketing and baggage handling.
These agreements will also mean a significantly increased distribution network for Aer Lingus services globally and an enhanced profile for Ireland in markets abroad, in particular in the US and other overseas markets.
Members of the Aer Lingus` Gold Circle Club and TAB programmes will benefit by earning points for travel on the services of American Airlines and British Airways and will be able to redeem points for free travel on services operated worldwide by these airlines.
Effective April 2000, British Airways will codeshare on all Aer Lingus flights between Ireland and the UK. Aer Lingus will codeshare on British Airways services between Ireland and the UK and also a range of British Airways services between London and Continental European destinations including Scandinavia, Switzerland, Italy and Austria.
A codeshare agreement has been entered into where American Airlines will codeshare on Aer Lingus` transatlantic services between the US and Dublin/Shannon, from summer 2000. The implementation of these codeshare agreements is subject to obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals.