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British Airways OpenSkies to fly as a oneworld alliance affiliate

OpenSkies, the British Airways subsidiary that offers premium airline services between the USA and continental Europe, is to become an affiliate member of oneworld®global airline alliance.

This new alliance membership will take effect from the 1st December 2012,

OpenSkies currently links Paris with the New York metro area with two daily round trips between Paris Orly and Newark.  From March, frequencies will rise to three daily round trips with the addition of one daily round trip between Paris Orly and New York JFK.  It is the only airline offering flights to and from the USA at Paris Orly’s West Terminal – the closest to the city centre and with the widest choice of connections within France.

On Board OpenSkies

All OpenSkies services are operated by Boeing 757 aircraft in a special three-class configuration, with services being brought more into line with those offered on British Airways’ own mainline flights:

  • Biz Bed cabin features 20 seats that convert to fully-flat beds, similar to British Airways’ Club World (business class).
  • Prem Plus is an upmarket premium economy, with 28 leather seats in a roomy 2:2 configuration, reclining 130o.
  • Eco is an economy class offering comfort and personalised service, with 66 seats in a 3:3 configuration.

For in-flight entertainment, all passengers are offered a personal iPad with more than 70 hours of movies, TV shows and games.

Its flight attendants wear the usual British Airways uniform and its aircraft are painted in a livery similar to the regular British Airways design, but the OpenSkies logo along their fuselages.

Its flights now all operate using the BA flight code and its frequent flyer programme is British Airways Executive Club.

At New York JFK and Newark, Biz Bed and Prem Plus passengers are able to use British Airways’ lounges.  At Paris Orly, they are offered access to Iberia’s VIP lounge.

As a oneworld affiliate member, from the 1st December it will offer the alliance’s full range of services and benefits – including, for members of any oneworld member airlines’ frequent flyer programme, the ability to earn mileage rewards and tier status points and redeem mileage rewards on all OpenSkies flights, and, for top tier cardholders, lounge access when flying OpenSkies.

At the same time, its flights will be featured in all oneworld fares and passengers holding oneworld Emerald and Sapphire status in any oneworld airline’s loyalty programme will also be able to use these facilities when flying on OpenSkies from 1 December, no matter in which cabin they are flying.

OpenSkies Managing Director Patrick Malval said: “With OpenSkies being brought closer to mainstream British Airways, we are delighted now to be able to offer our customers the full range of oneworld services and benefits and to bring our flights into the network of the world’s leading quality airline alliance.”

OpenSkies was launched by oneworld founder member British Airways in 2008 and has carried half a million customers since then.  It operates a fleet of three Boeing 757-200s.

Besides its 11 full member airlines, oneworld also includes some 30 affiliate members.  These are generally regional airlines with strong links with oneworld full member airlines.

Other oneworld affiliate members include:

  • airberlin’s Austria-based affiliate NIKI.
  • American Airlines’ regional affiliates American Eagle (including flights operated as American Eagle by Executive Airlines, ExpressJet and SkyWest) and American-Connection (operated by Chautauqua Airlines).
  • Cathay Pacific’s Dragonair
  • Finnair’s Flybe Finland (on routes it operates on behalf of Finnair).
  • Iberia Regional Air Nostrum and Iberia Express.
  • JAL Express, J-AIR and Japan Transocean Air.
  • LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador and LAN Peru.
  • QantasLink and its operators Airlink (National Jet Systems), Eastern Australian Airlines, Sunstate Airlines and Jetconnect.
  • S7’s Globus.

British Airways has three established oneworld affiliate members – BA CityFlyer, which operates out of London City airport, and two airlines which operate as British Airways franchisees, in Denmark’s SUN-AIR and South Africa’s Comair.


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