Breaking Travel News investigates: 20 years, 20 facts, oneworld
As oneworld celebrates two decades of operation, Breaking Travel News here brings you twenty key facts about the industry leading global alliance.
One: oneworld airlines serve some 1,100 destinations in 180 countries and territories – from Aalborg to Zurich, and from Albania to Zimbabwe – and you and your baggage can be checked right through to wherever you want to go, no matter how many different oneworld member airlines you need to connect between to get there.
Two: These airlines operate almost 14,000 departures every day – equivalent to a oneworld member airline flight taking off or landing every five seconds, 24/7.
Three: More than 535 million customers boarded flights operated by oneworld member airlines last year – equivalent to more than 1,000 passengers every minute 24/7. That is three times more than they carried in the alliance’s first 12 months, 20 years ago.
Four: Since oneworld was launched 20 years ago, the alliance’s member airlines have welcomed on board almost seven billion customers – virtually the same as today’s entire global population.
Five: oneworld was launched by five founding member airlines – American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Qantas and Canadian International (which withdrew from the alliance as the airline merged into Air Canada). Today, the alliance has grown to 13 member airlines – plus one-member elect and one oneworld connect partner. First recruits were Finnair and Iberia in 1999, followed by LATAM (then LanChile) in 2000, Japan Airlines and Royal Jordanian in April, 2007, S7 Airlines in 2010, Malaysia Airlines in 2013, Qatar Airways in 2013 and SriLankan Airlines in 2014.
Six: Royal Air Maroc will be oneworld’s first full member based in Africa when it joins next year - and the first addition to the alliance’s full line-up for six years. It will add 34 new destinations and 21 countries, all in Africa, to the oneworld map.
Seven: oneworld connect is the first new membership platform introduced since the alliance took off 20 years ago. It enables oneworld to link up with airlines that are more regionally-focussed, that cannot meet oneworld’s full membership requirements or that are not interested in full membership at present. oneworld connect offers a subset of oneworld’s full, regular customer services and benefits.
Eight: The first oneworld connect partner is Fiji Airways, which is on track for full implementation by the end of next month. It adds seven territories – its Fiji home and the neighbouring South Pacific nations of Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Samoa – and a total of nine airports to the alliance’s map, strengthening oneworld’s position as the leading alliance serving the South Pacific. Talks are progressing with other airlines interested in linking up as oneworld connect partners, based in Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific.
Nine: oneworld also has 30 “affiliate members” - airlines closely linked to the alliance’s full members and which offer the full range of oneworld services and benefits. They include American Airlines’ regional carrier American Eagle, British Airways franchisees Comair (of South Africa) and SUN-AIR (Denmark) and subsidiaries OpenSkies and BA CityFlyer.
Ten: Some 225 million people are members of oneworld member airline loyalty schemes. No matter which member airline’s frequent flyer programmes they have signed up for, they can earn mileage rewards plus points towards higher status in their programme when they fly on any oneworld member airline. And they can then redeem those mileage rewards for flights anywhere in the alliance’s 1,100-destination global network.
11: Members of those loyalty programmes also have their privileges extended to when they fly on any oneworld member airline. For top tier cardholders, that includes the ability to check-in at business or first-class priority desks, access to fast tracks through security, extra baggage allowances and priority baggage handling, priority boarding and access to lounges – no matter what kind of ticket they flying on.
12: oneworld offers more than 650 airport lounges around the world – where first class, business class and top tier loyalty programme cardholders can relax, refresh or catch up on some work before their flights. And they include lounges that are among the most frequent “best lounge” award winners.
13: Speaking of awards… oneworld is the current holder of nine “best alliance” awards – three times as many as its competitor global alliances combined.
14: oneworld is the only global alliance to let its member airlines’ most loyal customers use first class lounges and check-in desks, whichever oneworld airline they fly, even when they are not booked to travel in first class.
15: oneworld was established to make it easier for customers to reach more places by making it as simple and smooth as possible to transfer between flights offered by different oneworld member airlines. The number of customers taking advantage of this has risen steadily through the life of the alliance to stand at more than eight million in the past 12 months.
16: This generated almost US$ 5.5 billion of what in the industry is called “interline revenue” last year – an increase of 450 per cent since oneworld was launched and equivalent now to approaching five per cent of member airlines’ combined annual passenger revenues of US$ 108 billion. If it was an airline in its own right, that interline revenue would be place oneworld among the world’s 30 biggest.
17: oneworld includes the world’s biggest single airline, in American Airlines, along with the biggest in Latin America (LATAM) and in Australiasia (Qantas). oneworld is the only alliance with a member airline in Australia.
18: oneworld is the only global airline alliance that offers two completely different types of round-the-world fares – one (which is unique to oneworld) based on the number of continents you visit and the other priced on the distance travelled. And if you do not want to fly all the way around the world, oneworld also has a fare the lets customers visit several continents without actually circumnavigating the planet.
19: oneworld member airlines serve some 30 million bottles of wine a year, including around 2.5 million bottles of Champagne. Many oneworld member airlines offer their own alcoholic and non-alcoholic signature cocktails. Cathay Pacific has brewed its own signature beer - Betsy - specially crafted to be ideal at 36,000 feet. Finnair serves a million litres of blueberry juice, Finland’s signature drink.
20: The oneworld team globally is made up of almost 400,000 airline professionals serving customers wherever their travels take them all around the world.
oneworld has been voted the World’s Leading Airline Alliance by voters at the World Travel Awards for an unprecedented 16 years.
Find out more about the alliance on the official website.