The oneworld alliance is, together with Star Alliance and SkyTeam, one of the three largest airline alliances in the world. It was launched in 1999 making it the second oldest of the three. That said, with just under 500 million passengers transported across the alliance’s members in a typical year, oneworld is the smallest of the three.
Passengers traveling on oneworld alliance member airlines can generally enjoy a smoother experience than those connecting between airlines from different alliances. Frequent travelers on one or more of oneworld member airlines can also enjoy perks across the alliance thanks to oneworld Ruby, oneworld Sapphire, and oneworld Emerald statuses.
Currently, oneworld has 13 full members. Of those, four founded the alliance while the rest joined at a later point in time. There are also some airlines that used to be part of the alliance but are not anymore for one reason or another.
13 Airlines Are Full Members of oneworld
Oneworld was launched on February 1, 1999, by five airlines – American Airlines, British Airways, Canadian Airlines (no longer around), Cathay Pacific, and Qantas. A few months later, Finnair and Iberia joined the alliance too. With that, oneworld offered a decent network spanning North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia and Oceania.
With Japan Airlines and Royal Jordanian joining in 2007, oneworld’s footprint in East Asia increased considerably and its presence in the Middle East was established. The alliance’s Asian and global network expanded further with the addition of Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, and SriLankan Airlines in 2013 and 2014.
Royal Air Maroc – oneworld Alliance’s first and so far only member airline from Africa – and Alaska Airlines are the most recent airlines to have joined the alliance, in 2020 and 2021 respectively.
Some other airlines joined the alliance between it’s founding and today but those left the alliance for one reason or another, so I will talk about them in the next section.
First, below is the full list of all current oneworld member airlines:
|Airline||Joined||Continent||Country||Frequent Flyer Program|
|Alaska Airlines||2021-03-31||North America||United States||Mileage Plan|
|American Airlines||1999-02-01||North America||United States||AAdvantage|
|British Airways||1999-02-01||Europe||United Kingdom||Executive Club|
|Cathay Pacific||1999-02-01||Asia||Hong Kong||Asia Miles|
|Japan Airlines||2007-04-01||Asia||Japan||Mileage Bank|
|Qantas||1999-02-01||Australia and Oceania||Australia||Frequent Flyer|
|Qatar Airways||2013-10-30||Asia||Qatar||Privilege Club|
|Royal Air Maroc||2020-04-01||Africa||Morocco||Safar Flyer|
|Royal Jordanian||2007-04-01||Asia||Jordan||Royal Club|
|SriLankan Airlines||2014-05-01||Asia||Sri Lanka||FlySmiLes|
7 Other Airlines Were Part of oneworld in the Past
As mentioned above, one of the five founding members – Canadian Airlines – is no longer part of the oneworld alliance. The airline left the alliance in June 2000 due to being acquired by Air Canada, a Star Alliance member.
Another former member of oneworld worth mentioning is S7 Airlines which joined the alliance in November 2010 and had its membership suspended on April 19, 2022, due to the ongoing situation in Ukraine.
Below is the complete list of all former oneworld member airlines including the two highlighted above:
|Aer Lingus||2000-06-01||2007-03-31||Business restructuring|
|Air Berlin||2012-03-20||2017-10-28||Ceased operations|
|Canadian Airlines||1999-02-01||2000-06-01||Merged with Air Canada|
|LATAM||2000-06-01||2020-05-01||Investment by Delta Air Lines|
|S7 Airlines||2010-11-15||2022-04-19||Suspended due to the ongoing situation in Ukraine|
Oman Air: A Future Full Member of the oneworld Alliance
With the only alliance in the world to count one of the three big Middle East airlines among its members – and with Royal Jordanian – oneworld is already strong both in connections to the region as well as through the region.
The alliance is about to strengthen its position in the Middle East even further in 2024 when Oman Air is expected to join it. The airline was invited to join the alliance by Qatar Airways in June 2022. Once Oman Air joins the alliance, oneworld will be the only one of the major alliances to have three member airlines in the Middle East.
Oneworld Also Partners with Other Airlines
In addition to the airlines mentioned above that are fully integrated into oneworld and thus offer full reciprocal perks to passengers holding other oneworld airlines’ statuses among other things, the alliance also has a variety of partner airlines that are not full members.
One category of such airlines is oneworld Connect Partners. These airlines are similar to Star Alliance Connecting Partners in that oneworld airline frequent flyer status holders get to enjoy a limited set of perks such as lounge access when traveling on these airlines and vice versa.
Currently, there is only one oneworld Connect Partner – Fiji Airways. The airline joined oneworld in this limited capacity on December 5, 2018.
Another category is affiliates of full oneworld members. These are typically but not always subsidiaries of member airlines that operate regional flights for the member airline.
As long as the affiliate is operating a flight on behalf of the oneworld member under the member’s flight number, passengers get to enjoy their frequent flyer status benefits when traveling on one of the affiliates.
Currently, the oneworld alliance has 13 full members including four of its five founding members – American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, and Qantas. The fifth founding member – Canadian Airlines – left the alliance when it was acquired and integrated into Air Canada, a Star Alliance member.
Other airlines have joined and later left the alliance for one reason or another too. Those include Aer Lingus and S7 Airlines among others. The latter of the two had its membership suspended due to the ongoing situation in Ukraine. Whether it will ever become reinstated remains to be seen.
In addition to full members, the alliance also has a Connecting Partner – Fiji Airways, and offers reciprocal perks to an extent to passengers flying on flights operated by affiliates of full members as well.
While oneworld is the smallest of the three alliances, it still offers an extensive footprint of destinations around the world thanks to having members in the Americas (although South America is a major gap for the alliance since LATAM left the alliance in 2020), Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and Australia.
First published on 2019/08/24. Last updated on 2023/10/20.