03 Sep 2007
Monday, 3 September 2007, Hong Kong: Dragonair - regularly named in customer surveys as the best airline serving China - will join oneworld® on 1 November 2007, the leading quality global airline alliance announced today.
Its addition to oneworld is expected to be completed before the other airline alliances bring their Chinese members elect on board.
Hong Kong-based Dragonair serves more destinations in Mainland China - 19 in total - than any other airline not based there, with some 400 flights a week.
Twelve of these destinations will be new to the oneworld network - Chongqing, Changsha, Chengdu, Fuzhou, Haikou, Kunming, Guilin, Ningbo, Nanjing, Shenyang, Sanya and Wuhan. With their addition, oneworld will serve a total of 22 destinations in Mainland China.
Elsewhere, Dragonair will add Kota Kinabalu (Malaysia), Phnom Penh (Cambodia) and Phuket (Thailand) to the alliance map. By adding Phnom Penh, oneworld will connect with one new country – Cambodia.
Dragonair was elected on board oneworld late last year, following its integration with alliance founder member Cathay Pacific Airways in September 2006. While it is now part of the Cathay Pacific group, Dragonair has retained its own brand and identity, market positioning and separate "KA" flight code.
It will be the 11th carrier to board oneworld this year, in the alliance's biggest expansion programme since its launch. Japan Airlines and five of its affiliates, Malév Hungarian Airlines and Royal Jordanian Airlines all joined on 1 April, along with affiliates LAN Argentina and LAN Ecuador.
As a oneworld affiliate member, Dragonair will offer the alliance’s full range of services and benefits. This means its frequent flyers will be able to earn and redeem mileage awards on all other oneworld carriers. Top-tier members will have access to the 500 airport lounges worldwide offered by the alliance’s airlines.
Members of other oneworld airlines' frequent flyer programmes will be able to earn and redeem awards and receive all other oneworld benefits on Dragonair from 1 November, when its network will also be covered by oneworld's extensive range of alliance fares.
oneworld Managing Partner John McCulloch announced Dragonair's joining date today on a visit to its Hong Kong home to address the Asian Aerospace Congress, held in the city for the first time.
He said: "Since its launch eight years ago, oneworld has been the only alliance with a member from greater China, in our Hong Kong-based founder member Cathay Pacific. The addition of Dragonair means that oneworld will maintain its lead in this important, fast-growing region. With our combination of Dragonair, Cathay Pacific and the award-winning Hong Kong hub, it means that oneworld will offer the best quality airline service for travel to or from the whole of China."
Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Tony Tyler said: "We are delighted that Dragonair will become an affiliate member of oneworld, offering alliance passengers greater access to a wider range of destinations in Mainland China. As one of the founder members of oneworld, Cathay Pacific recognises the value of being part of this grouping of high-quality airlines and we are sure Dragonair's joining will add value for alliance customers and fellow member airlines alike."
Dragonair Chief Executive Officer Kenny Tang added: "Becoming an affiliate member of oneworld is an exciting development for Dragonair and is yet another benefit to result from our joining the Cathay Pacific group. We are pleased that oneworld customers will be able to connect through Hong Kong to our extensive network of destinations in Mainland China, along with the other business and leisure destinations we serve within the Asia Pacific region."
Dragonair, named "Best Airline - China" for the sixth year running in the latest international Skytrax passenger survey, operates scheduled services to 19 destinations in Mainland China from its Hong Kong base - more than any other non-Mainland carrier - with more than 400 flights a week.
It also offers scheduled passengers services to Taipei and Kaohsiung in Taiwan, Phnom Penh in Cambodia, Kota Kinabulu In Malaysia, Dhaka in Bangladesh, Phuket in Thailand, and Busan in Korea. From 28 October, it will inaugurate flights to Fukuoka and Sendai in Japan, in place of its existing Tokyo Narita route.
The airline operates a fleet of 15 Airbus A330-300s, six A321s and ten A320s, plus four Boeing 747-200/-300 Freighters and two 747-400 Boeing Converted Freighters.
Its passenger aircraft feature two- and three-class cabins, with First offering lie-flat seats. It provides high quality in-flight entertainment in a selection of languages throughout its aircraft.
In 2006, the airline flew just more than 5.5 million passengers and with a network capacity of more than 10 billion ASKs. It employs 3,600 staff worldwide.
Dragonair launched operations 22 years ago with a Boeing 737-200 leaving Hong Kong for Kota Kinabalu. It became a wholly owned subsidiary of Cathay Pacific Airways on 28 September 2006.
oneworld brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business - American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, LAN, Qantas and, since 1 April, Japan Airlines, Malév Hungarian Airlines and Royal Jordanian, plus some 20 affiliates.
The alliance enables its members to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. These include a broader route network, opportunities to earn and redeem frequent flyer miles and points across the combined oneworld network and more airport lounges.
oneworld is the only airline alliance with a truly global network, as the only grouping with any member airlines in the Americas south of Mexico, in the Middle East and in Australia.
With Dragonair, oneworld's network serves some 700 destinations in almost 150 countries with approaching 9,500 departures a date operated by a combined fleet of some 2,500 aircraft, carrying 320 million passengers and earning total revenues of US$90 billion in 2006.
It is also the only alliance to enable passengers to fly throughout its network, on any combination of carriers, using just electronic tickets.
oneworld was voted the World's Leading Airline Alliance for the fourth year running in the latest World Travel Awards, based on votes cast by some 170,000 travel professionals, including more than 110,000 travel agents in 200 countries.
Besides Cathay Pacific and Dragonair, Hong Kong is served by oneworld partners British Airways, Finnair, Qantas and Japan Airlines.
The alliance's existing airlines and members elect already serve nine points in mainland China - Beijing (AY, BA, CX, QF and JL), Shanghai Pudong (AA, AY, BA, CX, QF and JL) Guangzhou (AY and JL), Xiamen (CX and JL), Dalian, Hangzhou, Qingdao, Tianjin and Xian, (JL).