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Five new destinations set to join oneworld network

Antalya (AYT) will become the fourth point in Turkey on-line to oneworld carriers, with British Airways flying there from London Gatwick three times a week from 10 April. Cluj-Napoca (CLJ), the gateway to Transylvania, will be the grouping’s fifth airport in Romania when Malev Hungarian Airlines inaugurates its own flights there from its Budapest base twice-daily from 30 March.

Grand Junction (GJT) will be the seventh airport served by the alliance in the US state of Colorado when affiliate American Eagle starts connecting the city with its Dallas/Fort Worth hub from 7 April with twice-daily 50-seat Embraer ERJ140s.

Poznan (POZ) will be the alliance’s fourth city in Poland when British Airways starts flying there from London Gatwick daily from 30 March.

Tampico (TAM) will be the 15th destination in Mexico on the oneworld map, when affiliate American Eagle starts flying there daily non-stop from Dallas/Fort Worth hub from 7 April with Embraer ERG140s.

Key new routes being launched to existing oneworld destinations during the coming months include:

  • Budapest-Milan Malpensa, from the end of this month by Malev Hungarian Airlines twice daily.
  • Budapest-New York JFK, resumed by Malev Hungarian Airlines daily from 12 May.
  • Budapest-Toronto, resumed by Malev Hungarian Airlines five times a week from 26 May.
  • Fort Lauderdale-Kingston (Jamaica), from 1 June by American Airlines with daily Boeing 737-800s.
  • Hong Kong-Bangalore, by affiliate Dragonair from 1 May with daily Airbus A330-300s
  • Hong Kong-Madras, by Cathay Pacific, from 1 June, with four flights a week.
  • Madrid-Dubrovnik, by Iberia, from 7 June, with two A320s a week.
  • Madrid-St Petersburg, by Iberia, from 1 April, with two A319s a week.
  • New York-Barcelona, by American Airlines, from 1 May with daily Boeing 767-300s.
  • New York-Milan Malpensa, also by American Airlines from 1 May with daily Boeing 767-300s.
  • Tokyo Haneda-Beijing, by Japan Airlines, in time for the Olympics in the Chinese capital and in addition to its round trips from Tokyo Narita.

Finnair is to launch flights from its Helsinki hub to Yekaterinburg and increase frequencies to its two established Russian destinations. It will become the second oneworld carrier to serve Yekaterinburg, alongside Malev Hungarian Airlines. Although Finnair has not yet confirmed a start date for the new service, it will operate it three times a week.

Meantime, it will increase frequencies to Moscow from April to two a day, besides code-sharing on another two dailies operated by Aeroflot, up from a combined three a day at present. Schedules to St Petersburg should also increase to double daily by summer 2009, with another two dailies operated by Rossiya also carrying the Finnair code, up again from the current three flights a day.

Qantas is to resume its own services to Buenos Aires after a six-year break, with an initial three Boeing 747-400s a week from its Sydney base from 24 November. They will be the airline’s first non-stops between Australia and South America. Qantas has continued to serve Buenos Aires through a code-share with oneworld partner LAN, and affiliate LAN Argentina plans to code-share on the new non-stop route.

oneworld’s Australian partner is also increasing Los Angeles frequencies by three a week from the end of this month – with two more round trips from Brisbane, taking the schedule on this route to daily, and one from Sydney, increasing its timetable on this route to 17 a week. The Australian airline also serves LAX twice daily from Melbourne. Qantas is also upping frequencies between Sydney and Honolulu from 5 April with the addition of a fourth flight each week.

American Airlines and British Airways move a number of their London routes between the UK capital’s Gatwick and Heathrow Airports later this month.

The UK carrier will transfer to Heathrow its flights serving Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston from 28 March and its Algiers operation from 30 March, when its services to Warsaw move in the opposite direction, to Gatwick.

American Airlines transfers to Heathrow one of its Dallas/Fort Worth dailies and its daily Raleigh/Durham service from 30 March, with its second Dallas/Fort Worth daily following on 13 April. American will then offer 18 daily departures from Heathrow – the same number of frequencies that are currently split between Heathrow and Gatwick – serving Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York JFK besides Dallas/Fort Worth and Raleigh/Durham. It will add a second daily between London Stansted and New York JFK from 1 August.

More developments

Qantas’ new Premium Economy fourth cabin has entered service, with its first commercial service between the airline’s Sydney base and oneworld’s Hong Kong hub. All the airline’s Boeing 747-400s and Airbus A380s will offer the new product, with London Heathrow and Johannesburg the next routes to see it. The new cabin features 32 seats in a 2:4:2 configuration at a 42 ins pitch and 19.5 ins wide. Among its oneworld partners, British Airways and Japan Airlines also offer Premium Economy cabins.

Cathay Pacific’s Hong Kong home has been named the world’s best large airport (used by more than 40 million passengers a year) with American Airlines’ Dallas/Fort Worth hub runner-up in the latest annual awards for airport service quality organised by Airports Council International. Dallas/Fort Worth was also honoured as best airport overall in North America.

LAN has been named by Latin Trade magazine as the region’s leading airline in its “Best of Latin America 2008” rankings, based on votes by the publication’s readers. It came top overall out of 12 airlines participating – and also came first in individual categories for Business Class, on board service, food and beverages, frequent flyer programme and for boarding and ticketing. Its Neruda Lounge at its Santiago hub was also voted the best airport lounge in Latin America.

Malev Hungarian Airlines has been named Airline of the Year by Hungary’s leading travel publication. The award is presented on the basis of a vote by tourism experts, frequent business travellers and corporate directors, in conjunction with Az Utazo (Traveller) magazine.

oneworld member airlines have taken all three top prizes in the 2007 Cellars in the Sky Awards, run by magazines Business Traveller and Wine and Spirit and based on blind tastings by a panel of leading wine experts and writers.

Qantas took the top award for consistency of wines across Business and First Class, with British Airways among the runners-up. Qantas was also outright winner for the Best First Class Cellar, with American Airlines taking top prize for the Best Business Class Cellar.

Finally, Qantas is to establish an award to recognise “excellence in sustainable tourism” to encourage Australian tourism operators to minimize their impact on the environment, respect local culture and provide benefits to local communities. It will also invest in seminars and workshops around Australia to support local operators in adopting environmentally friendly business practices.

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