Oneworld Alliance has welcomed its first mainland China airline to its membership network.

Talking to delegates at the Congress yesterday, John McCulloch, managing partner at Oneworld Alliance, announced that Dragonair will become a full member of the alliance from  November 1, 2007. In December last year, Dragonair was elected as a Oneworld affiliate, after becoming a wholly owned part of the Cathay Pacific group.

“It will have taken us just 11 months to implement Dragonair – and we expect it to join Oneworld before Star Alliance or SkyTeam can bring on board their new Chinese recruits,” says McCulloch.

McCulloch adds the decision to take on Dragonair was due to its ability to match the best of its existing members’ standards, which includes Cathay Pacific, BA, American Airlinees and JAL. “This has been recognised with its outstanding success in the various airline industry award schemes. Just a few weeks ago, Dragonair was named Best Airline in China by SkyTrax for the sixth straight year running,” says McCulloch.

The deal increases Oneworld’s coverage considerably, as it serves a total of 19 mainland China airports with some 400 flights a week. “With the 10 points already served by other members of our alliance, this adds up to an impressive network - more than doubling the number of airports our alliance offers there to 22.”

Asian Aerospace homepage

Source: Flight Daily News