oneworld has completed the biggest expansion in its history with Japan Airlines, Malév Hungarian Airlines and Royal Jordanian all now offering the alliance’s services and benefits as full members.
Seven other airlines have joined at the same time as affiliate members - LAN Argentina and LAN Ecuador and JAL associates JALways, Japan Asia Airways, JAL Express, J-AIR and Japan Transocean Air.
Their addition has expanded oneworld substantially, to:
Almost 700 airports, around a hundred more than now.
Nearly 150 countries.
9,000 daily departures, a thousand more than today.
Around 315 million passengers, 65 million more than at present.
Almost 2,500 aircraft.
Nearly US$90 billion annual revenues, up by a third.
Members of the JAL Mileage Bank (JMB), Malév Duna Club and Royal Jordanian Royal Plus frequent flyer programmes can now earn and redeem mileage awards on all other oneworld carriers.
JAL Global Club Premier, JMB Diamond and Sapphire, Malév Duna Platinum and Gold and Royal Jordanian Platinum and Gold Plus cardholders can also now gain access to the 400 airport lounges worldwide offered by the alliance’s airlines.
Frequent flyer programme members of the established oneworld airlines - American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Finnair, Iberia, LAN Airlines and Qantas - can now earn and redeem awards and receive all other oneworld benefits on JAL, Malév, Royal Jordanian, LAN Argentina and LAN Ecuador.
The networks of these airline recruits are also now covered by oneworld’s extensive range of alliance fares and sales products.
oneworld has been the only global airline alliance with the customer convenience of interline e-ticketing between all its partners for two years already, enabling passengers to transfer between its airlines’ flights without the need for traditional paper tickets.
The same convenience is extended across the alliance’s recruits as they board the grouping, as part of a comprehensive programme which has seen all their internal processes and procedures brought into line with the alliance’s requirements.
Tens of thousands of employees from the airlines have participated in a special training programme to ensure they can deliver the alliance’s services and benefits from Day One, and dozens of its IT systems linked to those at the other oneworld airlines.
Signage at the 700 airports served by the alliance’s member airlines and at hundreds of sales outlets worldwide will be changed from today to reflect oneworld’s new membership line-up.
oneworld Managing Partner John McCulloch said: “Today is a truly historic day for the oneworld alliance, for our new member airlines and for our customers worldwide. Our recruits have enabled oneworld to broaden its coverage in three of the world’s fastest growing regions for air travel. We have added the quality and strength of more great brands to the world’s leading airline alliance, and further increased the value, choice and range that we offer our oneworld customers.”
JAL Group Chief Executive Haruka Nishimatsu said: “Becoming part of oneworld today represents an historic milestone for Japan Airlines - and a huge opportunity for JAL. It means we can offer our customers more choice, convenience, and better value - quality air travel options and benefits beyond the reach of any individual airline or bilateral partnership, across all the alliance’s world-class member airlines and their affiliates. I am confident that oneworld will equally benefit from having us in its team.”
Malév Chief Executive János Gönci said: “All of us at Malév are thrilled that this great day has finally arrived. We are very proud to have joined the world’s leading airline alliance as its representative from Central and East Europe. Our months of preparation have confirmed our belief that oneworld and its member airlines are outstanding professionals and industry leaders, and we are certain that this follows through to the benefit of the customers of oneworld the world over. Malév’s joining of the alliance will open up the power of oneworld to even more customers in even more markets than ever before”
Royal Jordanian Chief Executive Samer Majali said: “Royal Jordanian is delighted to have become part of oneworld - as the first airline from the Middle East to join any of the global airline alliances. We will benefit considerably from our membership - through increased revenues, the ability to reduce costs and the opportunities to work together in all sorts of areas with some of the most highly regarded businesses in this industry. We also believe Royal Jordanian adds considerable value to oneworld, strengthening its network significantly in the world’s fastest growing region for air travel demand.”
Dragonair, named China’s best airline for the past five years by the SkyTrax airline quality organisation and serving more destinations in Mainland China then any other airline based outside the mainland, will join oneworld as an affiliate member later this year.
Also from today, Aer Lingus has withdrawn from oneworld, with its low-fare, point-to-point strategy no longer in line with the alliance’s main focus on multi-sector, premium, frequent, international travellers.