The first airline to join in the new oneworld connect project as a partner will be Fiji Airways. Oneworld® today launched a new platform for linking up to airline alliance.
This new program may be an important step to grow the oneworld network.
oneworld connect is the first new membership platform unveiled by oneworld since the alliance was originally announced 20 years ago.
oneworld is in discussion with other carriers interested in participating in the program, from various parts of the world including the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe.
Each oneworld connect partner will need to have a minimum of three oneworld members as its sponsors to be initiated into the program. The initial oneworld sponsors of Fiji Airways will be all four of oneworld’s original founding members – American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Qantas. The Australian carrier will additionally mentor Fiji Airways through its oneworld connect implementation process.
American Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Qantas already code-share and have frequent flyer links with Fiji Airways. British Airways and Fiji Airways are currently discussing areas for potential bilateral cooperation.
The benefits for air travelers can be summarized as:
- Through check-in of passengers and their baggage for journeys including connections between a connect carrier and any of its oneworld sponsors.
- The ability to earn and redeem frequent flyer rewards, and earn frequent flyer status points, for eligible flights. (For customers from oneworld connect airlines, these benefits depend on the oneworld connect partner offering a frequent flyer programme.)
- Access to select lounges at key airports for First or Business Class passengers or those with eligible top-tier frequent flyer status.
oneworld Governing Board Chairman Pekka Vauramo, CEO of Finnair, said: “In the 20 years since oneworld’s conception in 1998, global airline alliances have expanded their breadth to the extent that they now account for 60 per cent of total industry revenues and capacity globally, and 70 per cent of revenues between the world’s top 125 business city airports.
“With most of the world’s biggest airlines already signed up, global airline alliances have reached maturity, In the future, oneworld will target as full members large airlines that have a significant presence in the alliance’s prime target market, providing connections between the world’s leading business centres. Meantime, oneworld connect enables us to bring together more airlines to complement the alliance’s global leaders, so customers can earn rewards and feel recognised while travelling even further.”
oneworld CEO Rob Gurney added: “oneworld’s current network of more than 1,000 destinations in 150 plus territories offers far-reaching global coverage, but there are still some regions where we would like to strengthen our presence further. With fewer potential new candidates available to recruit based on our established membership criteria, oneworld connect enables us to link up with other airlines whose networks are relevant to a subset of our members, who cannot meet oneworld’s full membership requirements at this stage or who are not interested in full membership at present.