New York City, NY, USA, 2013-12-10 — /travelprnews.com/ — US Airways will join oneworld® with effect from 31 March 2014, following completion today of its merger with alliance founding member American Airlines. All its regional affiliates, operating under the US Airways Express brand, will also transition to oneworld at the same time.
Their entry into oneworld with effect from the first flights on 31 March 2014 will follow immediately upon their exit from the Star Alliance with the final flights on 30 March 2014. All parties are taking every effort to ensure that the alliance transition is as seamless as possible for customers.
Until the full integration of American Airlines and US Airways – which will see the combined airline retaining the American Airlines name – US Airways and its regional carriers will operate as oneworld affiliate members, under the American umbrella.
They will offer oneworld’s full range of services and benefits – although some may be phased in shortly after US Airways joins. US Airways, American and their oneworld partners are working to provide the most popular benefits and services on an accelerated timeline.
A thorough communications plan is being developed to brief customers in detail on all the benefits and privileges they will receive with US Airways as a member of oneworld and as those benefits become available.
During the transition period as they work towards their full integration, American and US Airways will maintain their current loyalty programmes.
US Airways underlined today that all its Dividend Miles cardholders will maintain all miles earned and their tier status. Dividend Miles Preferred members will be sent new membership cards with the oneworld logo, for use from 31 March.
Dividend Miles Chairman cardholders will have the top Emerald status in the oneworld programme. Dividend Miles Platinum and Gold will be equivalent to oneworld Sapphire and Dividend Miles Silver will be oneworld Ruby.
From 31 March, Dividend Miles Chairman, Platinum and Gold members will be able to access some 600 airport lounges worldwide offered by oneworld member airlines when they fly with one of the alliance’s carriers. As oneworld Emeralds, Dividend Miles Chairman cardholders will be able to use First Class lounges, where available – and receive an additional baggage allowance and access fast tracks through departure security at select airports.
All Dividend Miles members will be able to earn mileage and status points when flying on any oneworld member airline from 31 March, but the ability to redeem mileage rewards for flights on other oneworld airlines may be phased in shortly afterwards.
The 140 million members of established oneworld airlines’ frequent flyer programmes will also receive alliance services and benefits when flying on US Airways from 31 March. From day one, this will include the ability to earn mileage and tier status points and, for Emerald and Sapphire cardholders, to access US Airways’ lounges when flying on oneworld departures, although the ability to redeem rewards for flights on US Airways, may be phased in shortly afterwards..
As it becomes part of the group on 31 March 2014, US Airways’ network will be covered by oneworld’s range of alliance fares – the most extensive offered by any of the global alliances.
On its own, US Airways is the fifth largest airline in the USA and one of the 30 largest in the world. With its regional affiliates, it serves more than 200 destinations and 30 countries with a fleet of more than 625 aircraft. It carried 82.5 million passengers in 2012 and currently operates 3,200 departures a day.
It will add 60 destinations to the oneworld map – most in its US home but also three in Canada and one in Mexico – along with its key hubs of Charlotte, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Washington DC’s Reagan National, expanding oneworld’s presence across the USA, particularly throughout the East Coast and across the North Atlantic.
Its merger with American Airlines creates the world’s largest airline on most measures, giving oneworld the leading alliance position in the USA, the world’s largest air travel market. The new American will offer service to more than 330 destinations in more than 50 countries, carrying 190 million passengers a year on a fleet of 1,500 aircraft.
The addition of US Airways represents the latest landmark in oneworld’s biggest membership expansion yet. Other elements elsewhere in the world include:
The addition of Malaysia Airlines, one of the industry’s most frequent award winners, on 1 February, further strengthening oneworld’s position in South East Asia, one of the fastest growing regions for air travel demand.
The induction on 1 October 2013 of LAN Colombia, the second largest airline in South America’s second biggest economy, the final part of the LAN group to join oneworld.
The introduction on 30 October 2013 of Qatar Airways, one of the fastest growing and most highly rated airlines in the world and the only one of the big Gulf carriers to join any global alliance, making oneworld the leading alliance in the Middle East.
The forthcoming transition to oneworld by TAM, the leading airline in Latin America’s leading economy, Brazil, with its Paraguayan affiliate to be added soon afterwards. This will complete the consolidation in oneworld of all the passenger carriers in LATAM Airlines Group, the region’s leading airline group, building on oneworld’s position as the leading global airline alliance serving Latin America.
The introduction early next year of SriLankan Airlines, as the first airline from the Indian subcontinent to join any global alliance, which, with Qatar Airways, will make oneworld the leading alliance in the region.
With the addition of these airlines, the oneworld network will expand to almost a thousand destinations in more than 150 countries, served by 14,250 daily departures – equivalent to a oneworld flight taking off or landing every three seconds around the clock – carrying 475 million passengers last year and generating annual revenues of US$ 140 billion.
American Airlines’ CEO Doug Parker said: “As we work toward creating the new American, network strength and breadth are essential components in building what will be world’s greatest airline. We look forward to providing our customers with access to key points all around the world via oneworld. Adding US Airways to the roster of oneworld member airlines is a significant step we will take as we combine the two carriers to create the new American.”
American Airlines’ Chairman Tom Horton – who also serves as Chairman of oneworld – said: “The oneworld alliance was formed with one goal in mind: to create the finest customer experience for frequent international travelers. That remains our focus today, as the alliance welcomes another great airline into the fold. The addition of US Airways will significantly strengthen the alliance’s presence in the US and provide US Airways customers access to a truly global network.”
oneworld’s CEO Bruce Ashby said: “The addition of US Airways to oneworld represents a significant milestone in our journey to establish oneworld as the first choice airline alliance for frequent international travellers the world over. We look forward to welcoming US Airways, its customers and employees on board the world’s premier global airline alliance with effect from 31 March next year.”
oneworld is an alliance of the world’s leading airlines committed to providing the highest level of service and convenience to frequent international travellers. These include leading brands from each global region. Besides American, they feature LAN from South America; airberlin, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia and Russia’s S7 Airlines from Europe; Qatar Airways and Royal Jordanian, from the Middle East; Asia-Pacific’s Cathay Pacific Airways, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines and Qantas; and some 30 affiliated airlines. Besides US Airways, Brazil’s TAM and SriLankan Airlines are also lining up to join early next year.
oneworld member airlines work together to deliver consistently a superior, seamless travel experience, with special privileges and rewards for frequent flyers, including earning and redeeming miles and points across the entire alliance network. Top tier cardholders (Emerald and Sapphire) enjoy access to some 600 airport lounges. The most regular travellers (Emerald) can also use fast track security lanes at select airports and extra baggage allowances.
oneworld is currently the holder of an unprecedented seven leading international awards for airline alliances – more than any other airline alliance has held before. It was named World’s Best Airline Alliance in the 2013 World Airline Awards by the independent Skytrax airline quality ratings agency, the Best Airline Alliance by Global Traveler in its GT Tested Reader Survey 2013 Awards for the fourth year running, the World’s Leading Airline Alliance in the 2013 World Travel Awards for the 11th year running, Business Traveller’s Best Airline Alliance 2013, Premier Traveler’s Best Airline Alliance 2013, Australian Business Traveller Best Airline Alliance in 2012 for the second year running, and FlightStats Airline Alliance On-Time Performance 2012 winner, believed to have been the first time a punctuality award has been presented to any airline alliance.