'ONEWORLD' AN ALLIANCE OF EIGHT AIRLINES

An alliance of eight leading airlines

By SHABBIR H. KAZMI
Dec 11 - 17, 2000

During this past week a ceremony was held in Karachi by Cathay Pacific Airways to introduce Oneworld Explorer now available for sale in Pakistan. The Oneworld Explorer ticket brings a new simplicity to round-the-world travel. The fare is based on the number of Oneworld zones and class of travel. Up to three stopovers per zone (excluding the zone of origin) are included in the price and one can buy additional stopovers at a flat rate.

Cathay Pacific's Country Manager for Pakistan, Happy Minwalla said, "We are delighted to be offering these Oneworld Explorer fares in Pakistan. The fares embody one of the key benefits of Oneworld alliance the ability to offer customers a wide global network and a consistently high level of service. They are simple and flexible, allowing passengers to create individual itineraries to fit their own needs."

Cathay Pacific Airways took an important step towards further enhancing its customer service in 1999 by helping found the Oneworld global airline alliance. Being a founder member of Oneworld has enabled Cathay Pacific offer smoother and faster connections to customers, give them access to more airport lounges, and vastly increase its network to more than 550 destinations around the world.

The decision to found Oneworld was announced in London and New York in September 1998. The alliance was officially launched with five founder members in February 1999. Now there are eight members namely Aer Lingus, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Iberia, Finnair, LanChile and Qantas Airways. Since it was founded, Oneworld has established itself as one of the airline industry's most widely recognized brands. The alliance has also provided significant benefits to passengers. Oneworld has enhanced each carrier to offer customers' service and products that it cannot provide by itself. This include:

* Closer linking of the member airlines' frequent flyer programmes, enabling frequent flyers programme members to earn and redeem miles on any eligible flights and fares of the Oneworld alliance airlines and other qualifying flights.

* Provision of elite frequent flyer cards with a common element of branding, to ensure members receive the appropriate recognition and privileges to which they are accustomed no matter which Oneworld member airlines they fly on.

* Access to more than 340 lounges of the Oneworld members worldwide no matter on which of the Oneworld airlines they are travelling, alongwith priority check-in, standby and waitlisting, and preferred seating and boarding.

* Smoother transfer for passengers travelling across the global networks of the Oneworld carriers.

* Greater support, with employees of each airline equipped to assist and care for customers travelling with any of the world airlines.

* Greater value, through a range of round-the-world products, including Oneworld Explorer fares.

The Oneworld Explorer fare simply treats the continents as individually prices stepping stones. The world has been divided into six Oneworld zones: Europe and the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Southwest Pacific, North America and South America. During Oneworld's first full year of operation, its member airlines carried almost 200 million passengers, flew 3.5 billion kilometers and operated around two million flights.