Oneworld has launched a new platform for linking up to the world’s premier airline alliance, enabling business travellers to enjoy more services and benefits across an even more extensive global network.
The first airline to join in the new capacity as a oneworld connect partner will be Fiji Airways, although the date for the commencement of the new services has yet to be confirmed.
Oneworld Connect is the first new membership platform unveiled by oneworld since the alliance was originally announced 20 years ago. The alliance is currently in discussion with other carriers interested in participating in the programme, from various parts of the world 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 programme. 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.
“Fiji Airways is thrilled and honoured to be the first oneworld connect partner globally, says Fiji Airways CEO Andre Viljeon. “We are delighted to link Fiji, and the South Pacific, to the world’s premier airline alliance and 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.”
oneworld 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, when flying an oneworld connect partner airline. 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 customers 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 earn frequent flyer status points for eligible flights; and access to select lounges at key airports for First or Business Class customers or those with eligible top-tier frequent flyer status.
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 also required to maintain IATA IOSA safety certification.
Also in the Headlines…