INTERNATIONAL NEWS: Oneworld flight alliance is on hunt for global agency

LONDON: Oneworld, a global airline alliance whose members include British Airways and American Airlines, is seeking its first worldwide consumer and corporate PR agency.

LONDON: Oneworld, a global airline alliance whose members include British Airways and American Airlines, is seeking its first worldwide consumer and corporate PR agency.

LONDON: Oneworld, a global airline alliance whose members include

British Airways and American Airlines, is seeking its first worldwide

consumer and corporate PR agency.



Whichever firm wins the business will arrive at a crucial time in the

year-old alliance’s history. Competition for passengers between Oneworld

and rival Star Alliance has been heating up recently, and unaffiliated

airlines are scrambling to align themselves with either of the

groups.



Star Alliance recently handed a large piece of its PR business to

Fleishman-Hillard (PRWeek, August 23).



The communications directors of Oneworld’s seven member airlines have

approached six global agencies and asked them to put forward proposals

to boost the alliance’s PR. The group’s PR higher-ups, including British

Airways communications director Simon Walker and American Airlines

corporate communications VP Tim Doke, are due to meet in Hong Kong this

week to further discuss the selection process.



’It will be a collective decision,’ said an American Airlines

spokesperson.



’The reason for the appointment is that the PR departments of Oneworld

members are busy with day-to-day communicating. To get a better focus

and emphasis, we want an agency to work with us.’



In addition to British Airways and American Airlines, Oneworld’s members

include Cathay Pacific, Canadian Airlines, Qantas, Iberia and

Finnair.



Last February, Oneworld members embarked on an ambitious plan to merge

their sales offices, computer systems and even brand names. This

followed a failed attempt at a full-blown British Airways/ American

Airlines alliance, which was thwarted by European anti-trust

authorities.



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