20 facts, oneworld

05 February 2020
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Twenty key facts about oneworld® the global alliance, which in 2019 marked the 20th anniversary of its launch:

1. oneworld airlines serve some 1,000 destinations in 170 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.

2. These airlines operate almost 13,000 departures every day – equivalent to a oneworld member airline flight taking off or landing every six seconds, 24/7.

3.  More than 535 million customers boarded flights operated by oneworld member airlines in 2018 – 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.

4. In the first 20 years of oneworld's launch, the alliance’s member airlines have welcomed on board almost 7 billion customers – virtually the same as today’s entire global population.

5. 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 oneworld connect partner.  First recruits were Finnair and Iberia on 1 September 1999, followed by Japan Airlines and Royal Jordanian on 1 April 2007, S7 Airlines on 15 November 2010, Malaysia Airlines on 1 February 2013, Qatar Airways on 30 October 2013, SriLankan Airlines on 1 May 2014 and Royal Air Maroc on 1 April 2020.

6.  Royal Air Maroc is oneworld’s first full member based in Africa - and the first addition to the alliance’s full line-up for six years.  It adds almost 40 new destinations and more than 20 countries, all in Africa, to the oneworld map.

7.  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.

8. The first oneworld connect partner is Fiji Airways.  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. 

9.  oneworld also has more than 20 “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.

  • Iberia Regional Air Nostrum and Iberia Express.

  • Cathay Pacific sister Cathay Dragon.

  • Japan Airlines group subsidiaries J-AIR and Japan Transocean Air

  • QantasLink carriers Airlink, Eastern Australia Airlines and Sunstate Airlines.

  • Royal Air Maroc subsidiary Royal Air Maroc Express.

  • S7's Globus.

10.  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 1,000-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 amongst 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 8 million annually.

16. This generated almost US$ 5.5 billion of what in the industry is called “interline revenue” in 2018 – an increase of 450 per cent since oneworld was launched.  If it was an airline in its own right, that interline revenue would 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 Australasia (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 that 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 360,000 airline professionals serving customers wherever their travels take them all around the world.