31 Mar 2000
SANTIAGO, 30 March 2000: Aer Lingus and LanChile will become fully fledged members of oneworld in the next few months, offering its full range of customer services and benefits.
A firm date will be announced once final computer tests have been completed in the next couple of weeks, the airline alliance revealed at the quarterly meeting of its governing board today, in Santiago, home base of LanChile the group's first meeting in Latin America.
Another key landmark in the development of oneworld comes next week, with the establishment of its central management company in Vancouver, charged with driving the alliance's future growth and the launch of new customer services and benefits.
Led by Peter Buecking, previously Sales and Marketing Director with Cathay Pacific Airways, as oneworld Managing Partner, this small central team will lead the work currently spread across project groups drawn from the member airlines, achieving greater cost efficiency while speeding development times, monitoring quality standards and ensuring a shared vision.
Since LanChile and Aer Lingus were elected on board oneworld last year, their employees have been undergoing intensive training programmes to ensure they can deliver the oneworld customer promise, and scores of man years of work have been carried out to ensure computer systems can link to those in other oneworld carriers.
David Turnbull, Chief Executive of Cathay Pacific, said: "We look forward to welcoming the customers of Aer Lingus and LanChile on board oneworld. Both carriers are excellent additions to our alliance as they both deliver high quality service and are customerfocussed. The additional destinations and flights they bring to the oneworld network will give Asian travellers even better connections in Europe and Latin America."
Enrique Cueto, LanChile's Chief Executive said: "We are delighted to be hosting the chief executives of the other seven oneworld carriers here in Chile, for their first meeting in Latin America and very much look forward to the day, just months away now, when LanChile will become a fully fledged member of the alliance. This is a very important occasion for LanChile, as we take our place beside some of the best airlines in the world. We look forward to this opportunity to expand the service we offer our customers. We also look forward to welcoming on board new customers from around the world and demonstrating to them our dedication to providing world class service to and from Latin America."
Larry Stanley, Group Chief Executive of Aer Lingus, said: "All of us at Aer Lingus are very much looking forward to working with our new colleagues in building the world's leading and most customer focussed airline alliance, and ensuring the legend 'oneworld revolves around you' continues to be demonstrated for our customers."
The "alliance that revolves around you" has quickly established itself as one of the world's premier airline networks, expanding substantially in its first year of operation and helping millions of travellers reach more places more easily.
oneworld was launched in February last year by founder members American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Qantas and Canadian. Finnair and Iberia joined six months later.
In the alliance's first year of operation, its member airlines have:
LanChile and Aer Lingus will join the grouping as Canadian Airlines ceases to be a member, as previously announced, following its purchase by Air Canada.
The two newcomers will take the number of destinations served by oneworld members to 585 destinations worldwide.
With the new additions, oneworld carriers will employ 266,938 people and operate fleets of 1,826 aircraft, carrying almost 215 million passengers last year.
Notes to editors
For further information:
|Aer Lingus||Media Relations|
|+353 1 886 2573||URL: http://www.aerlingus.ie/|
|American Airlines||Corporate Communications|
|+1 817 967 1577||URL: http://www.aa.com/|
|British Airways||Press Office|
|+44 208 738 5100||URL: http://press.britishairways.com/|
|Cathay Pacific||Corporate Communications|
|+852 2747 5376||URL: http://www.cathaypacific.com/|
|+358 981 84970||URL: http://www.finnair.com/|
|+34 91 587 7462||URL: http://www.iberia.es/|
|+562 565 2856||URL: http://www.lanchile.com/|
|+61 2 9691 3468||URL: http://www.qantas.com.au/|