Dragonair will join oneworld as an affiliate member on Nov. 1, the airline alliance has announced.Hong Kong-based Dragonair serves more destinations in Mainland China—19 in total—than any other airline not based there, with approximately 400 flights a week.
Twelve of Dragonair’s destinations will be new to the oneworld network—Chongqing, Changsha, Chengdu, Fuzhou, Haikou, Kunming, Guilin, Ningbo, Nanjing, Shenyang, Sanya and Wuhan. With their addition, oneworld will serve a total of 22 destinations in Mainland China.
Elsewhere, Dragonair will add Kota Kinabalu (Malaysia), Phnom Penh (Cambodia) and Phuket (Thailand) to the alliance map. By adding Phnom Penh, oneworld will bring one new country to the alliance—Cambodia.
Dragonair’s addition to oneworld means that effective Nov. 1, members of the American Airlines AAdvantage(R) program will be able to earn elite qualifying miles and points, as well as redeem their AAdvantage miles, on Dragonair flights. Members of other oneworld airlines frequent flyer programs will also be able to earn and redeem miles on Dragonair.
Likewise, Dragonair frequent flyers will be able to earn and redeem mileage awards on all oneworld airlines, including American Airlines. Top-tier members will have access to the 500 airport lounges worldwide offered by the alliance’s airlines.
“Since its launch eight years ago, oneworld has been the only alliance with a member from greater China, in our Hong Kong-based founder member Cathay Pacific,” said oneworld Managing Partner John McCulloch. “The addition of Dragonair means that oneworld will maintain its lead in this important, fast-growing region. With our combination of Dragonair, Cathay Pacific and the award-winning Hong Kong hub, it means that oneworld will offer the best quality airline service for travel to or from the whole of China.”
Dragonair was elected on board oneworld late last year, following its integration with alliance founding member Cathay Pacific Airways. While it is now part of the Cathay Pacific group, Dragonair has retained its own brand and identity, market positioning and separate “KA” flight code.
“We are delighted that Dragonair will become an affiliate member of oneworld, offering alliance passengers greater access to a wider range of destinations in Mainland China,” said Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Tony Tyler. “As one of the founder members of oneworld, Cathay Pacific recognizes the value of being part of this grouping of high-quality airlines and we are sure Dragonair’s joining will add value for alliance customers and fellow member airlines alike.”
Dragonair Chief Executive Officer Kenny Tang added, “Becoming an affiliate member of oneworld is an exciting development for Dragonair and is yet another benefit to result from our joining the Cathay Pacific group. We are pleased that oneworld customers will be able to connect through Hong Kong to our extensive network of destinations in Mainland China, along with the other business and leisure destinations we serve within the Asia Pacific region.”
Dragonair will be the 11th airline to join oneworld this year, in the alliance’s biggest expansion program since its launch. Japan Airlines and five of its affiliates, as well as Malev Hungarian Airlines and Royal Jordanian Airlines, all joined on April 1 of this year, along with LAN Airlines affiliates LAN Argentina and LAN Ecuador.
Dragonair’s addition to oneworld is expected to be completed before competing airline alliances bring their Chinese members-elect on board.