TAM Airlines and US Airways today completed their transition to oneworld – marking the biggest single-day expansion of the world’s leading quality airline alliance since its launch 15 years ago.
Both newcomers started offering oneworld’s services and benefits from their first flights this morning, on leaving the Star alliance after their final departures yesterday.
US Airways' regional affiliates, operating as US Airways Express, also transitioned to oneworld this morning, following US Airways' recent merger with American Airlines.
The landmark addition of these airlines to oneworld is being celebrated at a ceremony today at TAM’s Sao Paulo hub, attended by the CEOs of the alliance’s established member airlines, during which TAM will show off the first of its aircraft painted in the oneworld livery and launch a massive marketing communications campaign to highlight its alliance move.
TAM and US Airways significantly expand oneworld on many key measures:
Increasing the number of passengers carried annually across the alliance network by a third, adding another 120 million customers a year.
Expanding the annual capacity offered by the alliance by 20 per cent.
Adding almost a hundred destinations to the oneworld network – a near 10 per cent increase.
What TAM brings to oneworld
As the leading airline in Brazil, TAM Airlines makes oneworld the leading alliance in Latin America’s largest economy and the world’s third largest market for domestic air travel.
LAN Airlines, TAM’s partner in LATAM Airlines Group, has been a full member of oneworld since 2000 with all the other LAN passenger airlines joining the alliance as affiliate members since – LAN Argentina, LAN Colombia, LAN Ecuador and LAN Peru.
The addition of TAM consolidates oneworld’s position as the leading alliance for flights within Latin America and between the region and both the United States and Europe – the two most popular destinations for South American international travellers.
Using the two-letter code JJ, TAM serves 61 destinations in 16 countries in Latin America, the USA and Europe, with a fleet of 172 aircraft operating 800 departures daily. It boarded 37 million passengers in 2013.
It has added nearly 45 destinations in Brazil to the oneworld network, and its home base Sao Paulo, the biggest city in the Southern Hemisphere and in the Americas, becomes a new hub for oneworld.
What US Airways brings to oneworld
On its own, US Airways, now part of the American Airlines Group, is one of the world’s ten largest airlines on virtually all measures.
Its merger with American Airlines has created the world’s largest airline on most measures. With both American and US Airways on board, oneworld becomes the leading alliance in the USA, the world’s largest air travel market.
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.
During the transition period as they work towards their full integration, American and US Airways will maintain their current loyalty programmes, American’s AAdvantage and US Airways' Dividend Miles.
With its regional affiliates, US Airways serves more than 200 destinations and 30 countries with a fleet of more than 620 aircraft. It carried 82.5 million passengers in 2013 and currently operates 3,200 departures a day. It uses the two-letter code US, but this will be changed to AA once the two airlines combine under a single operating certificate.
It has added more than 50 destinations to the oneworld map – most in its US home but also two in Canada and one each in Ireland and 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.
Once the integration is completed, 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.
What oneworld brings to TAM and US Airways
As oneworld members, TAM and US Airways are now flying as part of the fastest growing and most highly rated global airline alliance, with partners who include leading brands from each global region:
In South America LAN and now also TAM, both part of the LATAM Airlines Group, the biggest and most highly rated airline group in the continent.
In North America, American Airlines and now also US Airways, now the world’s biggest airline, making oneworld the leading alliance in the USA, the world’s biggest domestic air travel market.
In Europe, airberlin, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia and Russia’s S7 Airlines.
In the Middle East, Qatar Airways – the only one of the Big Three Gulf carriers to be part of any alliance – and Royal Jordanian.
Asia-Pacific’s Cathay Pacific Airways, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines and Australia’s Qantas.
These carriers significantly expand the networks TAM and US Airways can offer to their customers in regions that are most important to them.
Previously, neither airline had partners in Australia or Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Now they can offer seamless travel to both those regions.
In addition, in American Airlines, Iberia and British Airways, TAM now counts as partners the leading airlines serving Latin America from North America and from Europe and can offer its customers hubs that are the most frequently used by international travelers from its home region – Miami, New York, Madrid and London.
Reflecting the quality of its member airlines, oneworld is the current holder of eight of the leading international awards for airline alliances. No other global airline alliance has ever held so many awards at the same time.
The alliance’s welcome to TAM and US Airways today, to be followed on 1 May by SriLankan Airlines, completes what has been oneworld’s biggest expansion programme to date, with the addition in the past two years also of airberlin, Malaysia Airlines and Qatar Airways.
With these recruits, oneworld:
Serves almost a thousand airports in 150 countries, with 14,250 daily departures.
Carries more than 500 million passengers a year on a combined fleet of some 3,300 aircraft.
Generates US$ 140 billion annual revenues.
Offers more than 600 airport lounges, including many frequently rated the world’s best.
What it means for frequent flyers and other customers
All parties have stressed they are taking every effort to ensure TAM and US Airways' transition to oneworld from the Star Alliance is as seamless as possible for customers.
The 10 million members of TAM Fidelidade frequent flyer programme and 30 million cardholders in US Airways' Dividend Miles loyalty scheme retain all points/miles earned and the move to oneworld has no impact on their tier status. They can now earn points/miles and tier status points and use them for flights on any oneworld member airline.
New frequent flyer membership cards, bearing the oneworld logo, have been mailed to members of TAM’s Fidelidade and US Airways' Dividend Miles programmes to ensure they receive the benefits to which they are now entitled when they fly throughout the oneworld network.
TAM Fidelidade Black and Red Plus cardholders and US Airways Dividend Miles Chairman’s Preferred cardholders now have the top Emerald status in the oneworld programme.
This entitles them, plus one accompanying guest, to use more than 600 airport lounges worldwide offered by oneworld member airlines whenever they fly with any of the alliance’s carriers, even in Economy Class. Those lounges include many judged to be among the best in the world in the various airline industry award schemes.
As oneworld Emeralds, they are able to use First Class lounges, where available. oneworld is the only alliance to offer top tier frequent flyers access to First Class lounges when they are not booked to travel in the First Class cabin.
They can also now check-in at the First Class counters of the oneworld airlines, even if they travel in Economy or Business Class and will also be offered additional baggage allowances and access to fast track through security checks at airports where fast track is offered. See oneworld.com/benefits for more details.
TAM Fidelidade Red and US Airways Dividend Miles Platinum and Gold Preferred members are now equivalent to oneworld Sapphire. They are now entitled to use Business Class or frequent flyer lounges offered by oneworld’s member airlines worldwide accompanied by a guest when they travel on any oneworld flight, no matter in which class they are booked.
They can also check-in at Business Class desks when they depart on any oneworld flight, irrespective of their class of travel.
oneworld Emerald and Sapphire frequent flyers are also invited to board any oneworld airline’s flight at any time they choose before the boarding gate closes, rather than wait for passengers in the cabin in which they are booked to be called for boarding.
TAM Fidelidade Blue and US Airways Dividend Miles Silver Preferred members now have oneworld Ruby status. Like oneworld Sapphire members, they will generally be able to check-in at Business Class desks when they depart on any oneworld flight, irrespective of their class of travel. (See Notes below)
All three oneworld tiers – Emerald, Sapphire and Ruby – are also offered priority standby and waitlisting on any oneworld airline, if the flight they want to travel on is fully booked. In addition, they can pre-reserve their preferred seat on any oneworld flight, whenever this service is available.
Also from today, the 140 million members of the established oneworld airlines' frequent flyer programmes can earn and redeem awards and tier status points and receive all other oneworld benefits when flying on TAM and US Airways.
Both TAM’s and US Airways' networks will from tomorrow be covered by oneworld’s range of alliance fares – the most extensive offered by any of the global alliances, including the market-leading oneworld Explorer round-the-world fare and its Visit South America and Visit North America passes.
Special frequent flyer miles offers to celebrate
To celebrate TAM’s addition to oneworld, all Fidelidade cardholders will receive double their usual Multiplus awards when flying on most oneworld partners throughout May 2014. Members of most established member airlines' loyalty programmes will receive double the normal mileage awards when flying on TAM during May also.
US Airways' Dividend Miles cardholders can earn a bonus of up to 25,000 miles by flying on most oneworld partner airlines between 1 April 2014 and 30 June 2014:
500 bonus Miles by flying on two of US Airways' oneworld partners
2,500 bonus Miles by flying on three of its oneworld partners.
5,000 bonus Miles by flying on four of its oneworld partners.
15,000 bonus Miles by flying on five of its oneworld partners.
25,000 bonus Miles by flying on six or more of its oneworld partners.
Members of most other oneworld member airlines' frequent flyer programmes will receive double their regular mileage awards when flying on US Airways between 1 April 2014 and 30 June 2014.
For full details, exceptions and requirements, see individual airlines' frequent flyer websites
TAM Airbus A320 in oneworld livery headlines massive marketing drive
Both TAM and US Airways are carrying out extensive marketing and communications programmes to highlight their move to oneworld – and at the centre of TAM’s is its first aircraft to be decorated in a special oneworld livery, an Airbus A320, spectacularly unveiled at its domestic hub Sao Paulo Congonhas Airport, in a ceremony to mark its and US Airways' entry into oneworld.
As part of their integration programme, US Airways is gradually repainting its fleet in the colours of American Airlines. It too will be decorating a number of aircraft in the oneworld livery – but these will feature American Airlines' branding rather than US Airways, to save having to repaint the same aircraft twice.
Joining TAM CEO Marco Bologna and LATAM Group Chief Executive Enrique Cueto at today’s ceremony were:
Chief Executive of IAG, the parent company of oneworld’s British Airways and Iberia, Willie Walsh – at his first event in his new capacity also as Chairman of the oneworld Governing Board.
oneworld CEO Bruce Ashby.
Chief Executive of the American Airlines Group, including US Airways, Doug Parker.
airberlin Chief Executive Wolfgang Prock-Schauer.
British Airways' Chief Commercial Officer Andrew Crawley.
Cathay Pacific Airways' General Manager Revenue Management James Tong.
Finnair’s Chief Commercial Officer Allister Paterson.
Iberia Executive Chairman Luis Gallego.
Japan Airlines' Chairman Masaru Onishi.
Qantas International Chief Executive Simon Hickey.
Qatar Airways' Chief Strategy Officer Richard Roberts.
Royal Jordanian’s Vice-President Alliances and Network Development Basma Majali.
S7 Group Deputy CEO Anton Eremin.
Member elect SriLankan Airlines Chairman Nishantha Wickremasinghe.
What the CEOs say
oneworld Governing Board Chairman, and IAG Chief Executive, Willie Walsh said: „By adding TAM Airlines and US Airways, oneworld will consolidate its leading role within Latin America and on flights between the region and both the United States and Europe. We already have strong and long-standing relationships with the American Airlines and LATAM Airlines groups. These two new partners bring outstanding quality and scale to the alliance, further strengthening its position as the best option for frequent international travellers”
oneworld CEO Bruce Ashby added: „Welcoming on board TAM Airlines, the leading airline in Latin America’s biggest economy, and US Airways, one of the world’s 10 biggest airlines, today is a major milestone for oneworld. We believe it represents the biggest single day of growth yet for any global airline alliance, confirming oneworld’s position as the world’s fastest growing and most highly rated global airline alliance.”
TAM Chief Executive Marco Antonio Bologna commented: „We made the best choice for the LATAM Airlines Group. With oneworld, our passengers will have even more benefits on their journeys, with better connections and more options for destinations. We made a seamless transition and now is the time to celebrate this milestone with our customers and our new partners. We wish everyone in oneworld a warm welcome to Brazil.”
American Airlines Chief Executive Doug Parker stated: „American Airlines is proud to have been a founding member of oneworld – and has played a leading role in developing oneworld into the position it enjoys today, as the undisputed alliance quality leader. Since February 2013, when American Airlines and US Airways announced our intent to merge our two great airlines, our goal has been clear: to restore American as the greatest airline in the world. Our membership in oneworld is just one of the ways we’re doing that as we bring our entire merged airline into the same global alliance, another crucial step in our progress toward fully integrating our two carriers.”
Source / Author: oneworld