Finnair plans to join the transatlantic joint business operated by fellow oneworld alliance members American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia.
American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia – the latter two carriers now under the ownership of parent company International Airlines Group – established their joint transatlantic business in October 2010, after receiving anti-trust approval from both the U.S. Department of Transportation and the European Union (EU).
Once Finnair joins the transatlantic joint business later this year, customers in North America and Europe will have increased choice of flights and services as well as more convenient connections to flights across the Atlantic, according to Helsinki-based Finnair.
As part of the joint business, Finnair will add its ‘AY’ flight code to selected American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia flights between North America and Europe (EU nations, plus Norway and Switzerland).
American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia will add their respective ‘AA’, ‘BA’ and ‘IB’ flight codes to Finnair’s daily flights between New York JFK and Helsinki.
Taking into account the flights of all four airlines, the joint business will operate up to 102 daily round-trips between North America and Europe, serving 42 gateways on either side of the Atlantic. Customers will also have access to a further 163 onward connections in North America and 126 in Europe.
According to Finnair, benefits for customers of the four-airline joint business will include:
● Coordinated schedules on joint business routes, providing customers with more flight choices and more convenient departure and arrival times;
● The ability for members of the four airlines’ frequent flyer programs – Iberia Plus, American Airlines AAdvantage, British Airways Executive Club and Finnair Plus – to earn points or miles on any of the new codeshare flights;
● Dedicated support teams for customers transferring at seven of the airlines’ hubs: New York JFK, London Heathrow, Madrid, Chicago, Miami International Airport, Dallas and Los Angeles; and
● Online check-in and boarding-pass printing with either the airline operating the flight, or the website of the airline used to book travel.
“Our participation in this venture will significantly increase the portfolio of available destinations to Finnair’s existing customers, as well as open up Northern Europe to a whole new network of potential travelers,” says Allister Paterson, Finnair’s senior vice president, commercial.
“Fare combinability between the four carriers also brings more ticket flexibility to customers, as the fares and conditions are identical between the airlines,” says Patterson. “A business traveler soon will be able to combine American, British Airways, Iberia and Finnair routes flexibly when flying between Europe and North America.”
“We are happy to welcome Finnair into the North Atlantic Joint Business,” says José Bolorinos, Iberia’s senior vice president, strategy. “Finnair has been a great partner of Iberia for many years. We started our codeshare cooperation with them in the year 2000.”
Adds Bolorinos: “We are sure their contribution will significantly expand the reach of the oneworld North Atlantic JB in Northern Europe and offer more service options for our customer[s].”