Air Travel News
Briefs: Oneworld adds a member; Turkish plans new U.S. gateway
In news of international airlines, the Oneworld global alliance has taken on a new member; Turkish Airlines will start flying to Texas next year; and Aer Lingus gets a takeover offer.
• The newest member of the Oneworld global alliance is SriLankan Airlines. Based in Colombo, Sri Lanka, the carrier handled 3.5 million passengers in 2011 on its fleet of 21 aircraft. It serves 34 cities in 22 countries in Asia, Europe and the Mideast, and brings three new destinations to the Oneworld network: the Indian cities of Kochi, Tiruchirapalli and Thiruvananthapuram. The next pending member expected to join the Oneworld alliance later this year is Malaysia Airlines.
• Turkish Airlines, which has been growing significantly in recent months, plans to add another U.S. gateway in 2013, when it will begin flights to Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport from its Istanbul base. The airline currently operates to New York, Chicago, Washington Dulles and Los Angeles, which it added in March of this year. Turkish will use a 777-300ER for the non-stop IAH-Istanbul service, which will operate four days a week.
• Ryanair Holdings, parent company of European low-fare giant Ryanair, has made a bid of $1.65 a share to acquire stock in Aer Lingus that it doesn’t already own. Ryanair Holdings already has a 30 percent stake in the Irish carrier, and has tried unsuccessfully twice before to take it over. Ryanair said things are different this time because of ongoing consolidation among Europe’s airlines, although it would likely face a challenge from antitrust authorities if its bid was successful.