By Kenneth Ehigiator
The three carriers involved in the most recent mega airlines’ merger, British Airways, American Airlines and Iberia have pledged for their passengers more access to cheaper fares, bigger choice of flight times and easier connecting journeys.
This promise came at the launch of the new joint business venture in London, where the chief executive officers of the carriers gave their endorsement.
The CEOs of the three Oneworld Network group met in London last week for the official start of the new trilateral relationship, which enables the Network to compete far more effectively with other global alliances on routes between Europe and North America.
American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia, for a start, announced four new routes that will start from next April as an early benefit of the new joint business.
They are: New York JFK_Budapest and Chicago_Helsinki (operated by American), London Heathrow_San Diego (operated by British Airways) and Madrid_Los Angeles (operated by Iberia).
The airlines have also placed codeshares on a significant number of additional routes, greatly increasing the number of destination choices available to customers.
American will add its code to 322 British Airways and Iberia flights serving 101 destinations, British Airways will add its code to 2063 American and Iberia flights serving 181 destinations and Iberia will add its code to 354 American and British Airways flights serving 96 destinations.
There will be further opportunities to increase codeshares in the future. Gerard Arpey, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AMR Corp, the parent company of American Airlines.
said of the partnership: “We’ve been waiting for 14 years to be able to bring these benefits to our customers and it’s great news that we can now put our plans into action. Our revenue_sharing partnership will further boost Oneworld, in what has been a momentous year for the alliance, and enable us to reduce costs and attract new business.
“It will provide additional stability for the airlines and our customers, employees and shareholders and allow us to invest in new products and services”.
Willie Walsh, Chief Executive Officer 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”.
Antonio Vazquez, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Iberia, said: “The growth potential of our joint business and the extra capacity Madrid offers will enable Barajas airport to become one of the main gateways for flights between North America and Europe in the very near future.
“So we will be offering our customers more travel choices, but we will also offer them a better travel experience. Our employees have an essential role in this aim.
“Around 12,000 employees of the three companies at airports and call centres have been trained to ensure that all these benefits are delivered to our customers”.