THE oneworld airline alliance is set to add a tier of new members, in recognition that most of the world’s largest airlines are already signed up to one of the major global groupings.
Yesterday in Sydney oneworld ceo Rob Gurney unveiled the first new membership platform to be offered by the alliance since it was founded 20 years ago by QF, AA, BA & CX (TD breaking news).
Dubbed “oneworld connect,” the scheme involves new carriers being sponsored by at least three existing oneworld full members.
The new additions to the network will work closely with sponsors to offer reciprocal through check-in of passengers, lounge access where eligible and the ability to earn and redeem frequent flyer rewards and earn status credits for eligible flights.
Top tier frequent flyers with non-sponsor oneworld members will still receive priority check-in & boarding with connect airlines.
Fiji Airways was announced as the inaugural oneworld connect partner, sponsored by all four of oneworld’s founding carriers.
All oneworld connect partners will also make their networks available as part of the Global Explorer round-world fare offered by the oneworld alliance, and will be required to maintain IATA IOSA safety certification.
Gurney said “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”.