Fiji Airways to join Oneworld airline alliance
Oneworld, a global airline alliance, featuring some of the world’s leading carriers, including American Airlines, British Airways, Japan Airlines, Australian Qantas and Qatar Airways has announced it is rolling out a new platform to connect even more passengers globally.
The first airline to join Oneworld connect will be Fiji Airways, the flag carrier of the South Pacific island group. The airline flies to 21 destinations in 13 countries and territories, including service to Oneworld hubs in Sydney, Hong Kong, Los Angeles and, starting next month, Tokyo.
This is the first new membership program for Oneworld, since the alliance began 20 years ago. Since its conception in 1998, global airline alliances have expanded their breadth to the extent that they now account for 60 percent of total industry revenues and capacity globally, and 70 percent of revenues between the world's top 125 business city airports.
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 helps to bring together more airlines to complement the alliance's global leaders, so customers can earn rewards and feel recognized while traveling even further.
The new alliance will offer some of the same connectivity, lounge access and frequent flier mileage sharing available to members of the larger alliance, but on a more limited basis. To join, each Oneworld connect partner will need to be sponsored by a minimum of three Oneworld members.
For Fiji Airways, sponsoring airlines included all four of Oneworld's original founding members—American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Qantas. Qantas is also set to mentor Fiji Airways through its Oneworld connect implementation process.
For travellers, the partnership means passengers with Emerald, Sapphire or Ruby status in any Oneworld member airline's frequent flyer program will be able to use Fiji Airways priority check-in desks, where available. Customers with Emerald or Sapphire status will also be offered priority boarding.
The new alliance is in discussion with other potential member airlines from around the world. The start date for when Fiji Airways will begin offering Oneworld connect services and benefits remains pending.