Is Oneworld Expanding? Its Chairman Says It’s Possible

by joeheg

If there’s one thing that makes frequent flyers’ ears perk up, it’s when there’s chatter about an airline joining one of the major alliances. There’s aren’t a whole bunch of airlines that haven’t teamed up with one of the big three. If they’d choose a partner, that would mean the ability to get reciprocal status benefits when flying on the partner and the ability to earn or spend points on flights on that airline. If you’d like to know more about alliances and why they’re important, check out this post.

The biggest recent addition for US flyers was when Alaska Airlines joined Oneworld. When that deal was announced, I made the unpopular statement that I really didn’t care.

However, others do care and that’s why news of a possible new Oneworld partner got everyone’s attention. In an interview with Executive Traveller, Oneworld chairman, Qatar Airways CEO, and human clickbait quote generator Akbar Al Baker said “I’ve been talking to several (airlines) to become part of Oneworld.”

As the new Oneworld chairman, Al Baker wants to bring more attention to the alliance which already has some impressive partners with Cathay Pacific, Qantas, and IAG Group (British Airways, Aer Lingus and Iberia.)

The addition of Alaska was important to US domestic traffic but Oneworld has some work to do if it’s going to challenge the Star Alliance for worldwide coverage.

Undoubtedly, we’ll be hearing more about the conversations with new partners over Al Baker’s tenure as chairman. If his statements about Qatar Airways are any indication, it’s anyone’s guess about how many of those partnerships will actually happen.

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JohnB November 3, 2021 - 3:06 pm

I sincerely doubt that any other Middle Eastern carrier will join oneworld. There are only a few international carriers that are not part of any alliance. So I think Al Baker is just bluffing.

Mark November 3, 2021 - 4:15 pm

While Aer Lingus is part of the IAG group, it is not part of One World. That seems a fairly logical addition.

I can’t see Emirates or Etihad being allowed to join. I’d think WestJet would go with SkyTeam. There isn’t much left in Europe but I’m sure there a few Asian carriers that might be interested.

Alex H November 3, 2021 - 6:51 pm

Starlux would be interesting as an Inter Asian carrier. Although still limited in routing, they are a young airline with a lot of potential.

Alvin November 5, 2021 - 4:32 am

• IAG still needs to announce if Air Europa is moving.
• Who knows if China Southern is ever joining anyone.
• El Al, Oman Air, Gulf Air, Air Astana, Bangkok Airways, Royal Brunei are still largely unclaimed.

Qatar needs to restore relations with Israel for El Al though.
LATAM, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia, WestJet, Air Serbia all pretty much lean SkyTeam.
Air Malta and Luxair lean Star Alliance.


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