oneworld Alliance Turns 20!

As oneworld® marks its 20th anniversary, the global airline alliance has unveiled a suite of benefits for customers and member airlines.

The CEOs of oneworld member airlines met in London on 01 February to mark the 20th anniversary, and unveil a transformation of the global alliance.

oneworld CEO Rob Gurney said, “In the two decades since oneworld was launched, the industry and consumer behaviours have changed fundamentally. Most of our member airlines have undergone comprehensive restructuring. Some have merged. When oneworld first took off, hardly any airline offered online bookings. Smartphones were in the future. Social media did not exist. Airline fares included everything. Low-cost carriers were in their infancy.

“Since then, global alliances have grown greatly in terms of membership but, to be frank, they have failed to keep pace with the changes that their members, the industry at large and the marketplace have experienced. At oneworld, we are making up for that. As we enter our third decade, we are undergoing a radical transformation, with a host of fresh initiatives to strengthen further the relevance of the alliance to our member airlines and our customers.”

Those initiatives include:

Digital revolution
Customers flying on connecting flights on oneworld airlines will be able to check-in, obtain boarding passes, track baggage, receive flight updates and pay for additional services through their preferred airline’s app or website, progressively from this year.

Improved customer experience
oneworld-branded and managed airport lounges to be rolled out at key airports, offering more space and service.

More member airlines
Royal Air Maroc to join in 2020 and Fiji Airways to be fully implemented as first oneworld connect partner next month, increasing the alliance network to 1,100 destinations in 180 territories, with more oneworld connect partners to be signed.

Royal Air Maroc is oneworld’s first full member recruit for six years and its first from Africa.

An updated brand
New oneworld market positioning that is ‘fresh, contemporary and more inclusive’ reflecting the diversity of the alliance’s member airlines and their customers, with the tagline Travel Bright. This initiative also includes a new website.

oneworld was launched on 1 February 1999 by founding members American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways and Qantas.

Since then, they have been joined by:

  • Finnair and Iberia (1999)
  • LATAM (then LanChile, 2000)
  • Japan Airlines and Royal Jordanian (2007)
  • S7 Airlines (2010)
  • Malaysia Airlines (2013)
  • Qatar Airways (2013)
  • SriLankan Airlines (2014)

Royal Air Maroc was invited into the alliance in December and is on track to join during 2020.

Around 30 airlines linked to the alliance’s full members are oneworld affiliate members, offering its full range of services and benefits. Fiji Airways was introduced as the first oneworld connect partner in December 2018, offering a subset of the alliance’s services and benefits, and is on track for full implementation next month.
Collectively, these airlines now:

  • Serve 1,100 airports in 180 territories, with 14,000 daily departures.
  • Carry almost 550 million passengers a year on a combined fleet of 3,500 aircraft.

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Having shelved plans to offer its First Class Suites as a complimentary upgrade for Business Class passengers with Platinum frequent flyer status, Malaysia Airlines will now sell First Class on its daily Airbus A350 services between Sydney and Kuala Lumpur.

The airline’s A350 currently services flights MH122/MH123, and features a small first class cabin of just four Suites.

These suites are now available for sale on services from 01 November 2018. The first flight being MH122 from Sydney.

Fares are expected to be a reasonable premium on Business Class, and any unsold first class suites will continue to be available for business class passengers via the airline’s MH-Upgrade ‘auction’ system.

“We’re really pleased to see Malaysia Airlines’ First Class Suites available for sale. We expect them to be great value and extremely popular on the Sydney to Kuala Lumpur route”, says The Travel Authority Group’s Managing Director, Peter Hosper.

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We’d love to hear from you.