US Airways has joined the transatlantic joint venture involving American Airlines, British Airways, Iberia and Finnair.
As part of the joint business, which was established by American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia in October 2010, the airlines cooperate commercially on transatlantic flights.
The joint venture includes a revenue-sharing agreement in which member airlines have U.S. and European Union governmental permission to coordinate schedules and pricing on North Atlantic routes.
This has provided better flight schedules and choices, particularly for business travelers traveling on major business routes such as New York-London.
However, the creation of the five oneworld members’ joint transatlantic business, as well as the creation of two other, similar transatlantic joint ventures involving airlines in the Star Alliance and the SkyTeam Alliance, has tended to reduce competition and raise overall fare levels on many transatlantic routes over the past five years.
US Airways brings 28 transatlantic routes to the oneworld members’ joint business, including non-stop services from the United States to 18 European destinations. Munich, Athens and Amsterdam are three of them.
Philadelphia and Charlotte will become oneworld’s largest East Coast gateways to Europe, providing customers access to more than 100 destinations throughout North America with one-stop connections from these two airports.
Taking into account all five carriers’ transatlantic operations, the joint business will serve 29 destinations in North America and 25 destinations in Europe, operating nearly 100 routes between the two regions.
According to American Airlines, the benefits that the five airlines’ joint business offers customers include:
● Coordinated schedules on joint business routes, providing customers with better flight choices and more convenient schedules;
● Dedicated support teams for customers connecting at nine of the airlines’ hubs: Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, London Heathrow, Los Angeles, Madrid, Miami, New York JFK and Philadelphia;
● Online check-in and boarding-pass printing with either the airline operating the flight, or the website of the airline used to book travel;
● Lounge access and priority baggage privileges for loyalty program members;
● Increased opportunities to earn and redeem frequent flyer benefits on transatlantic flights; and
● More attractive corporate sales programs.
US Airways will join the joint business as an affiliate member until it fully integrates its operations into American Airlines as part of their merger to create the largest airline in the world.
According to American, US Airways also plans to implement extensive codeshare agreements with the other three carriers in the oneworld members’ transatlantic joint business in the coming weeks, providing easy access to the joint business’ combined global network.