Oneworld develops new platform for affiliate partners

Fiji Airways to join oneworld in new oneworld connect capacity

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The oneworld global airline alliance has revealed a new platform for airlines wanting to link up with the network. Branded as oneworld connect, the platform will enable customers to capitalise on the services and benefits offered through oneworld.

The first airline signing on to the membership-based platform will be Fiji Airways, however a date of induction has yet to be announced.

Talks are already underway with numerous other airlines around the world interested in the new oneworld connect program, 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 scheme. 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.

What one world connect means for customers

oneworld connect partners will provide select alliance benefits to frequent flyers from any oneworld member airline travelling on their flights, with a more extensive range of benefits offered with their oneworld sponsors.

Customers with Emerald, Sapphire or Ruby status in any oneworld member airline’s frequent flyer program will be able to use priority check-in desks, where available. Also, customers with Emerald or Sapphire status will be offered priority boarding.

The additional benefits offered by oneworld connect partners to customers from their oneworld sponsors and vice versa include:

  • 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 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 program.)
  • Access to select lounges at key airports for First or Business Class passengers or those with eligible top-tier frequent flyer status.

Select other customer benefits may also be offered between oneworld connect partners and their oneworld sponsor airlines.

All oneworld connect partners will make their networks available via Global Explorer, the round-the-world fare offered by all oneworld members and select other airlines. Fiji Airways already does so.

All oneworld connect partners will be required to maintain IATA IOSA safety certification.

oneworld’s regular range of services and benefits remain in place for customers flying with the alliance’s full member airlines and their affiliates.

CEOs explain one world connect’s strategic rationale

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.

“This enables us and them to offer our customers more services and benefits across an even wider network and strengthen our relationship going forward, with a streamlined and rapid path to full membership later on where it makes sense for all parties.”
oneworld CEO Rob Gurney

Fiji Airways CEO Andre Viljoen said: “Fiji Airways is thrilled and honoured to be the first oneworld connect partner globally.

“We are delighted to link Fiji, and the South Pacific to the world’s premier airline alliance and further deepen our relationships in particular with Qantas, American Airlines, British Airways and Cathay Pacific.

“This important step for our airline enables us to offer more services and benefits to our own customers along with the others in the oneworld family, to achieve a greater presence for our airline internationally and to build on the in-bound tourism that is so vital to our home nation and our region.”
Fiji Airways CEO Andre Viljoen.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joycesaid: “As a oneworld founding member, it is great to see the alliance evolve to bring additional benefits to more customers and expand its joint network.

“We’ve worked closely with Fiji Airways for many years and are pleased to serve as its mentor as it comes on board as the first oneworld connect partner.”

Lead image: BULA! Oneworld welcomes Fiji Airways as the first oneworld connect partner.

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