The Oneworld alliance is looking to expand its membership to catch up with rivals SkyTeam and Star Alliance. As a result, several new airlines could join.
Fourteen airlines presently belong to OneWorld as full members, with the most recent additions coming in 2020 with the entry of Royal Air Maroc, and in 2021 with Alaska Airlines, whereas SkyTeam has 18 airlines, and the dominant Star Alliance has 26.
Unaligned ‘free agents,’ such as Oman Air, Taiwanese start-up Starlux, and Alitalia’s successor ITA, have shown a desire to join forces with a worldwide alliance.
“It is my duty for my members to grow our alliance,” says Oneworld chairman and Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker of his conversations with many airlines, including Oman Air.
Executive Traveller quotes Al Baker as saying, “I’ve been talking to numerous (airlines) to become part of Oneworld,” adding, “together you are always strong.”
Oman and Jordan, which flank either end of the Arabian Peninsula, are very close to Qatar, but Al Baker argues, “even if airlines are in the same area, there is so much possibility.
Because of our strong collaboration with Royal Jordanian, we code-share, and our business has developed immensely, we believe there are still opportunities for other companies to join us.
In addition to expanding the Oneworld membership, Al Baker hopes to raise awareness of the alliance by encouraging current members to show their support by waving the alliance’s flag.
When asked about Alan Joyce, who served as Qantas CEO from September 2018 to May 2021, Al Baker responded, “My role is to continue the fantastic work my great friend Alan (Joyce) has already done for Oneworld.”
When you look at what we as Qatar Airways are doing for Oneworld, I hope all the other airlines do the same.
“You’ll see a Oneworld emblem on each of Qatar Airways’ branding efforts. The Oneworld insignia must be worn by every member of the crew on board. The Oneworld badge appears on all printed materials.”
“If it’s a brand, we want it to be known for having high-quality airlines. Cathay Pacific is one of many well-known airlines in the IAG Group, and we aim to keep growing the brand by promoting it.”
Source: Executive Traveller