Alaska Airlines will join Oneworld, becoming the alliance’s 14th member airline “around the end of the year”, the global airline alliance said in a statement.

The US carrier is joining the Oneworld airline alliance earlier than it had initially planned. The airline said in February that it would join the alliance in summer 2021.

The airline’s wholly-owned regional subsidiary Horizon Air, as well as its regional partner SkyWest Airlines, will join as Oneworld affiliate members at the same time.

Alaska Airlines was elected as a Oneworld member designate following approval by the airline alliance’s governing board and a formal invitation extended to the airline. The airline first announced its plans to become a Oneworld member in February this year, when it unveiled plans to form a US West Coast International Alliance with Oneworld founding member American Airlines.

The alliance says the airline will offer the “full range of Oneworld customer services and benefits to its customers” when it becomes a member. Loyalty members of Alaska Mileage Plan will also be able to earn and redeem rewards on all Oneworld member airlines, and top tier members will get access to more than 650 lounges worldwide.

“We’re excited to become a member of Oneworld, the industry’s premier alliance, and honoured to receive this invitation. This milestone will improve connectivity and service for our guests throughout the West Coast and beyond,” said Brad Tilden, Alaska Airlines’ chairman and CEO.

“Oneworld will open up a tremendous international network for our business and leisure travellers when they’re ready to start flying overseas again, in addition to greater connectivity around the U.S. through our network for international visitors. We’re eager to build deeper ties with the six Oneworld members we already cooperate with, and looking forward to working with new partners that are some of the best airlines in the world,” he added.