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Oneworld at 25: Fiji Airways Becomes Full Member as Alliance Focuses on Innovation

The world’s second oldest modern airline alliance is focused on innovating the customer experience as they prepare to welcome two more airlines into their fold this year.
Looking ahead to their next 25 years, the Oneworld alliance is focused on improving the passenger experience through empowering travelers to take control of their travel, as they welcome two new airlines to full membership.

 

The alliance announced the promotion of Fiji Airways from Oneworld Connect partner to full member at the International Air Transport Association Annual General Meeting on Monday, June 3, 2024.

 

“Quality Prized More Than Quantity” for Oneworld’s Future

As a collective body, the second oldest modern airline alliance has fewer airlines in their membership compared to Star Alliance and SkyTeam. This doesn’t mean they are underrepresented in the world. Combined, the group operates 4.5 million flights per year, transporting over 500 million passengers to over 900 destinations globally.

 

With the addition of Fiji Airways, the alliance will also reach 26 destinations in 15 countries and territories in the South Pacific. With operations at the Oneworld hubs of Los Angeles, Hong Komg, Sydney, and Tokyo, alliance leadership say it’s a natural transition to bring Fiji as a full partner.

 

“With its tremendous growth, its award-winning product and services, and acceleration of connections with Oneworld members that have already been built, Fiji Airways will further strengthen Oneworld’s position as the premier airline alliance for international global travelers,” said alliance chief executive Nat Pieper.

 

Although Oneworld has seen strong growth in the past four years – Alaska Airlines joined in 2021, with Fiji and Oman Air joining in 2024 – adding new airlines is not necessarily their goal. Instead, the group is focused on maximizing resources with their current membership. This includes opening Oneworld lounges in South Korea and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol with plans to open more in the future, creating a lounge network of over 700 locations, and building digital tools for flyers to manage their trip across the airline network.

 

“We focus more on quality versus quantity,” said Pieper. “We won’t just go grab an airline that covers a big white space unless they have standards from a product perspective and meet the other strong foundation that we’ve built here today.”

To those ends, digital transformation is a key goal for the group. One example can be found in American Airlines’ agreement with Qantas to allow flyers to use AAdvantage miles to upgrade their Qantas-operated flight. Qantas will offer a reciprocal benefit for their flyers later in 2024, while British Airways and Iberia are reportedly close to offering the same thing with another airline.

 

Innovation continues with the individual member airlines. For British Airways, this means going through a £7 billion ($8.9 billion USD) transformation, which includes sustainability efforts, cabin transformations, and offering a new first class experience starting with their Airbus A380 aircraft by 2025.

 

“We represent 900 cities around the world – the most important business and leisure destinations,” said American CEO and Oneworld chair Robert Isom. “Our focus is on the members here and what comes next for our members.”

 

As the alliance continues to mature, leadership says their focus remains on the customer experience. Between rolling out new digital tools for flyers to manage their trips across airlines and offering innovative fair and airline combinations, the group is looking forward to what the future will bring for all of their members.

“We are proud of the progress Oneworld has made in the last 25 years, and I’m confident that the next 25 years will bring even greater benefits for our customers, our members, and our amazing people,” said Pieper.

4 Comments
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EmberEnigma June 8, 2024

It's exciting to see Oneworld prioritizing quality over quantity, especially in an era where digital innovation and enhanced customer experiences are paramount. The addition of Fiji Airways and the expansion of lounge networks signal a promising future. I appreciate the commitment to seamless travel through strategic partnerships and resource optimization. Looking forward to seeing how these improvements will benefit international travelers!

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Way to go and from what I see they dominate the Oceania market with QF and now FJ.

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Sydneyberlin June 4, 2024

As a 70% One World loyalist, I wished they concentrated on closing their gaping holes in the worldwide map: Since the departure of LATAM, South and Central America is pretty much off their map. And likewise, Domestoc China mainland is a real gap where both other alliances are present (granted, this might be CX blocking but it's still an important gap to fill imho).

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amanuensis June 3, 2024

There are only three airline alliances. So saying that you are the second oldest alliance is laughingly meaningless. You are also the second newest alliance. In other words, you are middle-child-syndrom Jan, and the other alliances are Marsha and Cindy.