It looks like Los Angeles is going to be THE place to be on April 9. The Oneworld alliance is holding a media briefing at 11:30 am that day, and chief executives from all ten members will be there to unveil the grouping’s latest airline recruit.
The announcement will come as Oneworld marks the first anniversary of its biggest expansion, with Japan Airlines and five of its subsidiaries, plus Malév Hungarian Airlines, Royal Jordanian, LAN Argentina and LAN Ecuador joining the alliance a year ago. Since then, Dragonair (owned by Cathay Pacific Airlines) has also boarded the grouping, notes the alliance in a media invite to the event.
The CEOs will gather in Los Angeles just days after the first stage of US-European open skies takes effect, and following member airline British Airways’ transition into the $8.6 billion new Terminal 5 at alliance hub London Heathrow (this is the first phase of Oneworld’s biggest yet airport co-location project), adds Oneworld.
In addition to Oneworld managing partner John McCulloch, the briefing will be hosted by the following heavy-hitters:
1) Qantas CEO Geoff Dixon (current chairman of Oneworld’s Governing Board)
2) American Airlines chairman and chief executive Gerard Arpey
3) British Airways chief executive Willie Walsh
4) Cathay Pacific Airways chief executive Tony Tyler
5) Finnair chief executive Jukka Hienonen
6) Iberia chairman and chief executive Fernando Conte
7) Japan Airlines Group chief executive Haruka Nishimatsu
8) LAN Group chief executive Enrique Cueto
9) Malév chief executive Peter Leonov
10) Royal Jordanian chief executive and deputy chairman Samer Majali
The chief executive of Oneworld’s new member-elect will also be in attendance. Now who do you think this 11th member is going to be?
Oneworld in the past has courted China Eastern Airlines. However, a recent co-operation agreement between China Eastern and China Southern Airlines could lead the former carrier to consider membership in the SkyTeam alliance. Russia’s S7 last year began exploratory talks with BA about the possibility of joining the global airline alliance.
If you’ve got the goods, let me direct you to the comment portion of this blog