oneworld airlines agree to develop common engineering specifications as value from alliance passes US$2 billion

23 November 2002

Members of the oneworld™ airline alliance have agreed to develop common specifications as widely as possible across their engineering and maintenance activities. Their accord comes as the eight carriers seek to build substantially on the US$2 billion value generated through their joint activities overall since they formed oneworld three years ago.

oneworld includes some of the biggest and most highly regarded airlines in the world - American Airlines, British Airways, Qantas, Iberia, Cathay Pacific, LanChile, Finnair and Aer Lingus. Between them, they operate some 1,900 aircraft and spend some US$5 billion a year on engineering and maintenance (E&M), excluding employee costs.

Developing shared E&M specifications will enable them to reduce costs through bulk buying and by sharing parts between one another. To increase efficiency in this area still further, the eight airlines have also agreed to align their policies and procedures, to work together to develop and support solutions that can be applied throughout the industry and to share best practice.

The partners already purchase a range of E&M items together, saving considerable sums of money. Their new joint commitment should enable this to be extended further, from spare parts to more shared third-party service suppliers.

Speaking as the Chief Executives of the eight airlines gathered today in Madrid for the final meeting this year of the oneworld Governing Board, Peter Buecking, oneworld's Managing Partner, said: "oneworld, like the other airline alliances, was originally launched as a marketing tool, to build revenues for our airlines by delivering services for their customers that none of them could provide by itself. Since then, our scope has been substantially extended as our industry's economic environment has changed fundamentally.

"Our member airlines now place equal priority on oneworld's ability to help them reduce costs. As a manageable-sized alliance with well established, excellent working relationships, we have already made significant progress along this road, across a whole range of activities. Without this contribution from oneworld, the cutbacks a number of our members have implemented in the past year could have been a great deal deeper.

"We believe we can achieve substantially more savings through greater co-operation across our engineering and maintenance activities - without impacting on our employees and while ensuring that safety always remains the top priority. Our member airlines will now be working together and with their various suppliers to this end."

Since oneworld took off in February 1999, joint activities across all areas have generated additional value for its member airlines totaling more than US$2 billion - through revenue generation and feed, and savings from joint purchasing and shared airport and city facilities.

oneworld was voted the world's Best Airline Alliance by some of the world's most frequent flyers in the 2002 Business Traveller Awards, believed to be the first award for this sector of the travel industry. Together, its members serve more countries than any other alliance – 135 territories and more than 550 destinations - with some 8,700 departures a day. oneworld offers more alliance fare products, serving more markets, than all its competitors combined