american airlines

Following Delta’s purchase of 49% of Virgin Atlantic, the two airlines are determined to challenge the long held dominance of British Airways & American Airlines on flights between Heathrow & New York.

AMERICAN AIRLINES NEW LOOKAs with British Airways & American Airlines, the new Delta / Virgin Atlantic pairing is set to be granted anti-trust immunity which will allow the two airlines to co-ordinate slots and schedules as well as sharing revenue. The new joint venture is set to come into being in early 2014 and will be the first serious challenge to the British Airways / American Airlines partnership which accounts for around 50% of traffic between London & New York, the world’s single most important airline route.

Code sharing between Delta & Virgin commences on 3rd July with Virgin Atlantic placing its code on 91 Delta flights and the US carrier placing its flight number on 17 Virgin flights, including the new short-haul routes between Heathrow and both Edinburgh & Manchester.

Between them, the 2 airlines operate 23 daily flights between Heathrow & the US including 9 daily flights between Heathrow and New York JFK.

Delta’s President, Ed Bastian, has also indicated that they are seriously looking into new, direct flights between Heathrow & Seattle, a service that British Airways currently holds a monopoly on, although there was no indication of whether these flights would be operated by Delta or Virgin (we would assume the latter).

Virgin Atlantic




Reports in the media suggest that American Airlines is planning an increase in flights between Heathrow and both Miami & Dallas.

Dallas flights are set to increase from 14 to 17 per week while Miami flights are set to increase from 10 to 14 per week; both increases are set to come into effect at the start of the winter season in early November.

american2Like British Airways, American Airlines was a founding member of the oneworld airline alliance and both airlines have a joint-business agreement (together with Iberia) on flights across the Atlantic. This agreement allows the airlines to co-ordinate schedules, fares and frequent flyer benefits and, in so doing, makes their combined offering much more attractive to the all-important business traveller. British Airways already flies between Heathrow and both Miami & Dallas so, between them, the two airlines are by some way the dominant players on these routes.

Later this year, it is expected that American Airlines will also merge with rival carrier US Airways. Assuming the merger goes ahead, it is almost certain that the new airline will retain, and indeed grow, its links with British Airways. US Airways has hubs at Phoenix & Philadelphia, both of which British Airways already flies to, as well as Charlotte which British Airways withdrew from some years ago. It would be no surprise if British Airways was to re-launch flights to the North Carolina city and further strengthen its own position in the US market.

The new A380 British Airways World Traveller Plus cabin



Oneworld, of which British Airways was a founder member, has recently announced that it is joining the events and conventions market, with flight discounts across a route network totalling some 850 destinations and growing.

OneworldThe alliance has unveiled a one-stop service for organisers and attendees of events, exhibitions, conferences and conventions around the world. For event organisers, oneworld events will provide the following:

•  An efficient and user-friendly centralised process, with one set of terms and conditions covering travel on all oneworld member airlines that can be ready for acceptance just days after submitting the online request form.

•  Discounted flights for attendees plus the chance for organisers to earn and redeem credits for travel on participating oneworld member airlines.

•  Simple online access to real-time management reports 24/7 to help meet attendees’ travel needs.

•  A ready-to-use oneworld promotional toolkit to build attendee awareness.

For attendees, oneworld events will offer the following.

•  Attractive discounts on flights for attendees and one travel companion each, on oneworld member airlines, which together serve 850 destinations in more than 150 countries around the globe.

•  A user-friendly booking tool that will display the most convenient flights and multiple fare options from hundreds of departure points all over the world to the event or convention location.

•  Travel on a collection of some of the world’s leading airlines.

•  Round-the-clock support, with the oneworld events helpdesk ready to help via email or phone.

•  All usual privileges and benefits to members of any oneworld member airline frequent flyer programme – including the ability to earn miles/points and, for top tier cardholders and one companion each, to use any of the 550 airport lounges provided by the alliance’s airlines the world over. Attendees who are not yet members can sign-up before they depart and then receive their benefits and privileges on their way to or from their convention of event.

oneworld events is aimed at conferences, conventions, exhibitions and special events targeting a minimum of 500 international attendees travelling from at least two regions.  Requests are accepted as early as five years in advance and up to three months prior to the event date.

Front of British Airways A380The oneworld alliance brings together leading airlines from around the world – airberlin, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Royal Jordanian and S7 Airlines. Soon to join oneworld are Qatar Airways, Sri Lankan Airlines, TAM & US Airways.

Launching the product, oneworld Director Sales José María Alvarado said: “Uniquely among global airline alliances, oneworld counts all four of the top country markets for big global gatherings as homes to member airlines – USA, Germany, Spain and UK.  But virtually wherever you are holding an event or exhibition, oneworld member airlines will be able to get you there.


American Airlines

With the long-awaited merger between American Airlines & US Airways set to be agreed as soon as 14th February, , the US aviation market will come down to 3 mega legacy carriers (the other 2 being United & Delta) plus a number of low cost carriers and small independents such as Virgin America.

The new merged carrier is expected to simply be called ‘American’ and have its HQ in Austin, Texas. It will be the largest airline in the world with almost $40 billion in revenues, some 100,000 employees and over 1,500 aircraft.

Assuming the merger succeeds, it is widely expected that the new carrier will be part of the oneworld alliance, a massive boost to British Airways and its partners.

The North Atlantic has always been British Airways most important market and the prospect of losing its long-standing partner, American Airlines, must have filled the airline’s top management with dread. Now, not only does it look as if they kept American Airlines in the fold, they are also set to gain a new partner, US Airways, with a strong route network on the east coast.

Unlike both British Airways & American Airlines, US Airways has a very weak presence across the Atlantic with just the single flight between Heathrow & Philadelphia although, starting this March, it will be adding a new direct service between Heathrow & Charlotte (ironic because it was only able to do so after British Airways & American Airlines were forced to relinquish some of their slots). The benefit to British Airways therefore will almost entirely accrue from increased feeder traffic from US Airways domestic network.

This latest development will cap a successful 12 months for oneworld and British Airways. At the start of February, Malaysia Airlines joined oneworld, giving the alliance an important foot-hold in the South East Asian market. Then, at the end of 2012, Qatar Airways announced that it too would be joining oneworld, the first of the Gulf carriers to join any of the airline alliances.

Leaving aside the troubles at British Airways IAG partner, Iberia, prospects for the British flag carrier are certainly on the up.