S7 Airlines, Russia’s leading domestic carrier, will become part of oneworld® with effect from Monday 15th November, offering the alliance’s full range of services and benefits from then.
Its addition will substantially expand the alliance’s network throughout Russia and the rest of the Commonwealth of Independent States – in the latest step by oneworld to establish itself as the world’s premier alliance in what is turning out to be a breakthrough year for the group.
From the 15th November 2010 members of the S7 Priority frequent flyer programme will be able to earn and redeem mileage awards on all oneworld partners, who include some of the biggest and best airlines in the world – American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN Airlines, Malév Hungarian Airlines, Mexicana, Qantas and Royal Jordanian and almost 20 affiliated airline.
S7 Priority Platinum and Gold cardholders will have oneworld Emerald and Sapphire status respectively, gaining them access to more than 500 airport lounges worldwide offered by the alliance’s airlines. S7 Priority Silver cardholders will have oneworld Ruby status.
All S7 Priority Platinum, Gold and Silver cardholders will soon be sent new membership cards, bearing the oneworld logo, to ensure they receive their alliance benefits from the 15th November.
Also from the 15th November, members of the established oneworld airlines’ frequent flyer programmes will be able to earn and redeem awards and tier status points and receive all other oneworld benefits on S7.
Its network – covering 90 destinations and 28 countries, including 45 points in Russia and some 25 destinations in other parts of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) – will from then be covered by oneworld’s full and extensive range of alliance fares and sales products.
S7’s Russian domestic market is the world’s largest country in terms of land mass, the ninth most populous and with the eighth biggest gross domestic product. Currently seven of oneworld’s established airlines – British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Malev Hungarian Airlines and Royal Jordanian – serve Moscow, plus St Petersburg and Ekaterinburg in Russia.
The new oneworld recruit will add 55 destinations in the region to the alliance map, and nine countries, in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. This will almost triple the number of destinations served by oneworld in Russia, the CIS and other parts of East Europe to a total 84 destinations in 26 countries.
For S7, joining oneworld will strengthen its competitive offering and its financial position, enabling it to offer customers an unrivalled alliance global network served by partners including some of the best and biggest airlines in the world.
Its addition will extend oneworld’s global coverage to a total of more than 750 destinations in almost 150 countries, served by a total of 8,500 departures a day operated by a combined fleet of some 2,250 aircraft, carrying 300 million passengers a year, with annual revenues of more than US$85 billion.
British Airways has been supporting S7 through its 18-month alliance implementation project, as its oneworld sponsor airline, with working groups covering some 35 streams of activity.
Work is well advanced in linking up S7’s IT systems to those of oneworld’s established members. Projects are also nearing completion to bring S7’s various internal processes and procedures into line with the alliance’s requirements, and extensive employee training and communications programmes are now underway at the S7 and the alliance’s existing members, to ensure they are ready to provide oneworld’s customer services and benefits across the expanded alliance from the 15th November.
oneworld Managing Partner John McCulloch said: “S7 will expand oneworld’s network substantially in a key region of growing travel demand, with a carrier that matches our demanding quality requirements, while enabling S7 to offer its customers a truly global network on quality partners. We are delighted to be welcoming them to the oneworld alliance.”
S7 Chief Executive Vladimir Obyedkov said: “S7 Airlines is delighted to be joining the world’s premier global airline alliance. Becoming part of oneworld will be one of the most significant steps in S7’s history. It will enable us to offer our customers a truly global network served by partners who include some of the best known and most admired airlines in the world, while our frequent flyers will have more opportunities to earn and redeem mileage rewards and enjoy all their other benefits. It will also strengthen us financially, through revenues from passengers transferring to our network from our oneworld partners and the cost reduction opportunities the alliance offers.”