Skift Take

There's much to expect from Oneworld in its 20th year of service, but partners joining with Connect status may be the most interesting development to watch for.

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It’s been 20 years since the formation of the Oneworld airline alliance, the global partnership between 13 air carriers that now moves over 500 million passengers each year. To celebrate the event, members got together in London earlier this month to chart the path forward.

Item one on the agenda was a rebrand, because millennials supposedly respond to bright colors and images of widely grinning models, if Oneworld is a case in point. The new tagline is Travel Bright.

Beyond aesthetic updates, though, the alliance launched a few key initiatives, including an effort to build more unified Oneworld airport lounges rather than multiple carriers building competing spaces in the same terminal, and a global app through which all alliance passengers can access reservations and check in.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the affair in London was news of the alliance’s expansion plans. Of late, the alliance has been keen on selling potential airlines on the concept of Connect status, which allows passengers to transfer through to a partner carrier and reap benefits — all without the carrier being a full member. Fiji Airways and Alaska are already considering this membership and, according to executives at Oneworld, other airlines are queuing to join.

That may be the ultimate fate of China Southern, which curiously left the SkyTeam Alliance last year. Until a formal deal is crafted, it remains adrift with only a handful of investments and joint ventures with Oneworld carriers — and no place to call home.

— Grant Martin, Business of Loyalty Editor

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Skift Business of Loyalty Editor Grant Martin [[email protected]] curates the Skift Business of Loyalty newsletter. Skift emails the newsletter every Monday.


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Tags: china southern, loyalty, oneworld

Photo credit: This is a portion of Oneworld's rebrand in the Alliance's 20th year. Oneworld

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