VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Sept. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- S7 Airlines, Russia's leading domestic carrier, will become part of oneworld® effective Monday, 15 November, offering the alliance's full range of services and benefits from then and substantially expanding its 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 15 November, 2010 members of the S7 Priority frequent flyer programme will be able to earn and redeem mileage awards on all oneworld partners, which includes some of the biggest and best airlines in the world – American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN Airlines, Malev Hungarian Airlines, Mexicana, Qantas and Royal Jordanian and almost 20 affiliated airlines.
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 15 November.
Also from 15 November, members of the established oneworld airlines' frequent flyer programs 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.
S7 Airlines to join oneworld on 15 November…2
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 15 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."
About S7 Airlines
S7 is Russia's leading airline in terms of domestic passenger carryings, customer service quality and innovation.
It is the first carrier in Russia to convert to an all Western-built Airbus and Boeing fleet and the first to adopt full electronic ticketing and on-line reservations and sales. It holds the internationally recognised IOSA (International Air Transport Association Operational Safety Audit) certification, renewed in October 2008.
S7 offers a two-class product to international standards on all departures – Business Class and Economy.
Its fleet, decorated in a distinctive bright green livery, includes 28 Airbus A320 family types, two Airbus A310s, two Boeing 767s, four Boeing 737-400s and four Boeing 737-800s, with an average age of nine years.
S7 carried 5.6 million passengers in 2009, with a bigger share of the domestic Russian air travel market than any other airline. Including its international network, it is Russia's second biggest carrier.
Its main hub Moscow Domodedovo is the capital's most modern airport. Its secondary hubs are Novosibirsk and Irkutsk. Its international destinations include oneworld hubs Madrid and Bangkok.
S7 is one the most progressive airlines in Russia giving passengers new standards of service, supported by the use of latest technology. Tracing its origins back to 1957, it changed its brand name from Sibir Airlines four years ago with a radical rebranding to make it stand out from its competitors as customer-friendly, quality, modern carrier – winning the annual national award "People's mark / Brand No 1 in Russia".
Since its election as a oneworld member designate in May 2009, S7 has launched code-sharing with alliance partners Iberia and Royal Jordanian. S7 also code-shares with oneworld member elect Air Berlin.
The airline generated profits of US$151 million (operating) and US$18 million (net) in 2009 on revenues of US$1.1 billion. S7 employs 2,596 staff and uses SITA as its main IT platform. It is 75 per cent privately owned.
S7's English-language website is www.s7.ru/en/index.html
oneworld enables its members to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. These include a broader route network, opportunities to earn and redeem frequent flyer miles and points across the combined oneworld network and more airport lounges. oneworld also offers more alliance fares than any of its competitors.
oneworld was named the World's Best Alliance two weeks ago in the 2010 World Airline Awards and has been voted the World's Leading Airline Alliance for the past seven years in the World Travel Awards. It is the only winner of this award since it was introduced in 2003.
Already in oneworld's "breakthrough year":
- India's leading carrier Kingfisher Airlines became a oneworld member elect in June – followed by Air Berlin in July.
- Japan Airlines has been expanding its co-operation with its oneworld partners since reaffirming its membership of the alliance in February, filing days later with American Airlines for anti-trust immunity for a joint business across the Pacific and more than doubling its code-sharing with British Airways.
- American Airlines, British Airways, Iberia, Finnair and Royal Jordanian in July received long-awaited final approval for their application for anti-trust immunity across the Atlantic and the proposed transatlantic joint business between American, BA and Iberia.
- British Airways and Iberia are on track to complete their merger by the end of the year.
- LAN Airlines celebrated its 10th anniversary as a oneworld member on 1 June. Since joining, it has added to the grouping its affiliates in Argentina, Ecuador and Peru.
- oneworld added the World Airline Awards' World's Best Alliance title to the World Travel Awards' World's Leading Airline Alliance trophies it has won for the past seven years, as the only winner of that award since it was introduced in 2003.