After moving above Sky Team to second in the “Big 3” of airline alliances, the next few years are more likely to be about staying put than targeting the top spot.
Oneworld Alliance is one of the three largest airline alliances in the world, along with Star Alliance and SkyTeam. While still the smallest in terms of members, prolonged Covid issues in Asia, where SkyTeam does a significant chunk of its businesses, has seen Oneworld rise to the number two spot in terms of revenue. The group made a total of $6.7bn in 2021.
By joining some of the biggest names in airline travel, Oneworld connects travellers to over 900 destinations across its 14 brands. The group’s main goal is to become the number one option for frequent travellers. Naturally, that involves a big chunk of business travellers alongside leisure travellers.
Oneworld operates a benefits programme, split into three tiers: Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald. To gain access, travellers must enrol in a frequent flyer program of one of its members.
The group was founded in 1999 by American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Qantas and Canadian Airlines (which was acquired by Air Canada in 2000).
Here’s a quick look at every member airline of the Oneworld Alliance.
Home nation: USA
Markets served: 120 destinations across five territories
Only joining in 2021, Alaska Airlines quickly became the group’s second largest airline. Known for its fantastic service, customers regularly rank it among the best airlines in the world.
Loyalty programme: Mileage Plan
Home nation: USA
Markets served: 352 across 60 countries/territories
One of the founding members of OneAlliance, American Airlines is the largest airline in the United States. In 2022, it carried just under 200 million passengers. Its program is credited as the first modern travel loyalty program.
Loyalty programme: AAdvantage
Home nation: UK
Markets served: 198 across 72 countries/territories
An icon of air travel, British Airways is one of the most recognisable airlines in the world. The brand is the UK’s flag carrier and has been in service for over 100 years.
Loyalty programme: Executive Club (part of Avios)
Home nation: Hong Kong
Markets served: 119 across 35 countries/territories
Hong Kong’s flag carrier combines passenger and cargo services to tremendous effect. Pre Covid, the airline was the third-largest carrier of international cargo and the eighth-largest carrier of international passengers.
Loyalty programme: Cathay
Home nation: Finland
Markets served: 81 across 30 countries/territories
Finland’s flag carrier, Finnair is regularly ranked among the safest in the world.
The Finnish government holds a majority of stake (approx. 60%) of the airline.
Loyalty programme: Finnair Plus
Home nation: Spain
Markets served: 135 across 43 countries/territories
Established in 1927, Iberia is Spain’s flag carrier and largest airline. With a strong focus on leisure and business travel, the airline is a major connector between Latin America and Europe.
Loyalty programme: Iberia Plus (part of Avios)
Home nation: Japan
Markets served: 95 across 20 countries/territories
Japan Airlines has been in business since 1951 and joined the Oneworld Alliance group in 2007. The country’s flag carrier, it is the tenth largest airline in Asia by fleet size.
Loyalty programme: Mileage Bank JGC/JMB
Home nation: Malaysia
Markets served: 55 across 20 countries/territories
Malaysia’s flagship carrier declared bankruptcy in 2015 and was renationalized by the Malaysian government. Since then, it has been run under the Malaysia Airlines Berhad company.
Loyalty programme: Enrich
Home nation: Australia
Markets served: 88 across 18 countries/territories
Founded in 1920, Qantas is one of the longest-running airlines in the world. Its main business is passenger traffic, transporting over 20 million people in 2022.
Loyalty programme: Qantas Frequent Flyer
Home nation: Qatar
Markets served: 156 across 80 countries/territories
One of the world’s fastest growing airlines, Qatar was founded in 1993 and is the country’s flag carrier. The state-owned airline was the first Persian Gulf carrier to join one of the three main airline alliances when it became a part of Oneworld Alliance in 2013.
Loyalty programme: Privilege Club
Royal Air Maroc
Home nation: Morocco
Markets served: 80 across 41 countries/territories
A recent joiner, Royal Air Maroc is the first fully-fledged African member of the group. The airline is owned by the Moroccan state and connects Europe, the Middle East and the Americas with Africa.
Loyalty programme: Safar Flyer
Home nation: Jordan
Markets served: 45 across 26 countries/territories
Jordan’s flag carrier, Royal Jordan provides around 500 daily flights to four continents. This year, the airline is looking to rapidly expand its network across Europe and the Middle East.
Loyalty programme: Royal Club
Home nation: Sri Lanka
Markets served: 119 across 60 countries/territories
Sri Lanka’s flag carrier was founded in 1979 and mainly serves the Indian subcontinent, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. In a recent route reboot, the airline expanded its offerings in China and Australia in a bid to secure foreign income.
Loyalty programme: FlySmiLes
Home nation: Fiji
Markets served: 21 across 13 countries/territories
The smallest airline in the group, Fiji joined Oneworld Alliance in 2018. It has invested heavily in staff training in recent years, in a bid to improve its service for customers.
Loyalty programme: Tabua Club Plus
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Tags: alaska airlines, american airlines, brands explained, british airways, cathay pacific, fiji airways, finnair, iberia, japan airlines, loyalty, malaysia airlines, oneworld, qantas, qatar airways, royal air maroc, royal jordanian airlines, SriLankan Airlines
Photo credit: A check-in line for British Airways in Rome, Italy. Skift