11 October 2010
The CEOs of the three oneworld airlines met in London at the start of the new trilateral relationship, which they stressed was not a merger, but rather a consolidation of services to allow them to compete more effectively with other global alliances on competitive routes between Europe and North America.
The airlines also announced four new routes to start from next April as an early benefit of the alliance. They are New York JFK-Budapest and Chicago-Helsinki (operated by American Airlines), London Heathrow-San Diego (British Airways) and Madrid-Los Angeles (operated by Iberia).
The three airlines have increased the number of codeshares on a significant number of additional routes in a bid to increase the number of destination choices for customers. In total, customers can now travel on a combined network serving more than 400 destinations in 105 countries, with around 5,200 daily departures.
Customer benefits of the joint business include:
- Greater access to a wider choice of fares
- Coordinated schedules on joint routes with greater flight timings and choice
- Dedicated support teams for customers transferring or delayed at five of the airlines’ hubs: New York JFK, London Heathrow, Madrid, Chicago and Miami
- Ability to check-in online and print boarding pass with either the airline operating the flight or the one the ticket was booked through
- Increased opportunities to earn and redeem frequent flyer benefits on flights, including increased lounge access in some cases
Willie Walsh, chief executive of British Airways, said: "Today’s route announcement is a great example of how by working together we can benefit customers. Combined selling and scheduling means that we will able to operate routes that would not have been viable for us to operate individually. This partnership will provide a one-stop shop for transatlantic travel regardless of how you book, which of our airlines you fly with or where you want to transfer".