Release Date: 02 February 2007
Release ID: 1060
Royal Jordanian, Japan Airlines (JAL) and Malév Hungarian Airlines will start offering oneworld® services and benefits from 1 April 2007 in the biggest expansion of the world’s leading quality global airline alliance since its launch eight years ago today.
So, from 1 April 2007 some 20 million frequent flyers from all of these airlines will be able to earn and redeem mileage awards on all other oneworld carriers. This includes more than 90,000 members of Royal Jordanian’s frequent flyer system (Royal Plus), more than 19.5 million members of the JAL Mileage Bank (JMB) frequent flyer programme and 75,000 members from Malév’s Duna Club.
Top-tier (Emerald and Sapphire) members will also have access to the 400 airport lounges worldwide offered by the alliance’s airlines.
Eligible members of these three programmes will soon be sent new membership cards, bearing the oneworld logo, to ensure they receive their alliance benefits from 1 April.
From the same date, members of the established oneworld airlines’ frequent flyer programmes will be able to earn and redeem awards and receive all other oneworld benefits on these new recruits, whose networks will also be covered by oneworld’s extensive range of alliance fares and sales products.
Also on 1 April 2007, as previously announced, Aer Lingus will withdraw from oneworld, with its focus on low fare point-to-point passengers no longer in line with oneworld’s strategy of providing services for premium, multi-sector, frequent, international travellers.
Three other airlines are lining up to become part of oneworld in 2007 - Dragonair, LAN Argentina and LAN Ecuador, all as affiliate members. Joining dates for these three carriers will be announced in due course.
These overall changes in membership will expand the size of the alliance 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.
· 265,000 employees.
· Almost 2,500 aircraft.
· US$85 billion revenues, up by a third.
oneworld Managing Partner John McCulloch said: “Adding Japan Airlines, Malév and Royal Jordanian represents oneworld’s biggest expansion since the alliance was launched eight years ago today. We are very much looking forward to welcoming them and their customers on board from 1 April. Their addition will broaden our network coverage in three of the fastest growing regions for air travel and further strengthen oneworld’s position as the world’s leading quality airline alliance.”
Royal Jordanian Chief Executive Samer Majali said: “Membership of oneworld will create extensive opportunities for Royal Jordanian that will enable our airline to offer our customers greater and smoother access to a substantially more diverse network of destinations, with the help of our excellent stable of partners. Through RJ’s own wide-ranging regional network, we will provide the other oneworld airlines with markedly increased reach in the fast growing Middle East.”
JAL Group Chief Executive Haruka Nishimatsu said: “We are delighted to announce that JAL will become a member of oneworld on April 1. By joining hands with the alliance’s nine other world-class airlines, we will be able further to strengthen the quality of our products and services, providing our customers with greater convenience, comfort, value and choice throughout the alliance’s comprehensive global network. Our strong market presence in Japan and elsewhere in Asia will enable us to take a leading role in oneworld’s strategy, and significantly enhance the competitiveness of this leading quality global alliance.”
Malév Chief Executive Janos Gonci said: “Following almost two intensive years of preparation for joining oneworld, my team and I are thrilled that the big day is almost upon us and we can’t wait to be fully fledged members of the alliance. We are convinced that oneworld membership is a win-win-win for Malév, for oneworld and, most importantly, for all our customers the world over.”
Work is well advanced in linking up the IT systems of the recruits to those of oneworld’s established members, and to bring their various internal processes and procedures into line with the alliance’s requirements, to enable them to offer the alliance’s services and benefits from the start of 1 April.
Of the 24 interline e-ticketing (IET) links required to enable passengers to transfer between their flights using just electronic tickets, without the need for a traditional paper ticket, only three remain to be cut over. Malév already offers (IET) with all the other oneworld members. The three outstanding IET connections will be completed in the coming weeks.
oneworld has been the only alliance with interline e-ticketing (IET) between all of its partners since April 2005.
Royal Jordanian, JAL and Malév have already joined the alliance’s Global Explorer round-the-world fare product, which already included some other carriers which are not part of the alliance. They will have the alliance’s full range of alliance fares and sales products extended to them on 1 April.
American Airlines and Cathay Pacific last month transferred from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2 at JAL’s main international hub Tokyo Narita, where they now operate alongside the Japanese airline. Qantas was already based there and Finnair will join them in the coming weeks. This represents the alliance’s biggest consolidation project in the Asia-Pacific region, substantially smoothing and speeding connections for passengers transferring there between these airline’s flights.
Massive employee training and communications programmes are now underway at the recruits and the alliance’s existing members, to ensure that their staff worldwide are ready to provide oneworld’s customer services and benefits across the expanded alliance from 1 April.
The three airlines will be oneworld’s first new recruits for more than six years. In the interim, the alliance’s focus was on helping its member airlines weather the worst financial crisis the industry has faced. Its success in this is reflected in the fact that oneworld is the only alliance whose members collectively achieved a profit in their latest full financial years – of US$1.8 billion net, while SkyTeam members lost nearly US$5 billion and Star’s plunged more than US$20 billion into the red.
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