Celebrating 25 years of oneworld

1 Feb 2024 by BusinessTraveller

oneworld has been helping top tier flyers Travel Bright for a quarter of a century.

This month marks 25 years since the oneworld Alliance revolutionised the airline industry and made frequent flying better for millions of passengers. oneworld was founded in 1999 by American Airlines,

British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Qantas, who saw the benefit of joining forces to offer customers a wider network of destinations, improved services and seamless connectivity.

Since then, the alliance has grown to 13 airlines including Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian and SriLankan Airlines, plus 26 affiliate airlines.

The alliance also welcomes Oman Air later this year, which will strengthen its leading position in the Middle East and add new destinations to its network, including Khasab in Oman and Chittagong in Bangladesh.

Further expanding its reach in the Pacific is the first oneworld connect partner, Fiji Airways.

With a combined fleet of more than 2,300 aircraft serving over 900 destinations, a oneworld flight takes off or lands roughly every seven seconds. That equates to over 12,500 flights per day, or 4.5 million flights annually.

Images supplied by oneworld

Global connection

In April 2005, oneworld became the first global alliance to complete interline e-ticketing between all member airlines – some three years ahead of its competitors. This meant customers could fly throughout the network on a single e-ticket. Next, it launched an innovative Round The World consumer fare product.

Today, several options exist to suit budgets and travel plans, for example the oneworld Explorer ticket is priced on the number of continents visited, while the Global Explorer ticket is priced on distance travelled.

Last year, oneworld also launched an AI-powered online tool to simplify booking complex global itineraries on its website.

oneworld Priority benefits

Customers can earn and redeem miles and points interchangeably across the entire alliance network. Upon meeting certain qualification criteria, customers enrolled in frequent flyer programmes of a oneworld member airline will automatically be awarded with one of oneworld’s priority tiers: Emerald, Sapphire or Ruby, and start enjoying priority benefits.

oneworld is the only global airline alliance that welcomes eligible top-tier customers to use First Class lounges, while premium customers and frequent flyers are invited to use over 600 airport lounges around the world.

Other special privileges and rewards for frequent flyers include extra baggage allowances, fast track security lanes and priority boarding. (You can find out exactly what benefits you’re entitled to by checking your oneworld tier status privileges at oneworld.com/travel-benefits).

For corporations whose business spans the globe, oneworld’s corporate travel programme offers a range of benefits, such as access to discount fares on member airlines on a single agreement, plus a dedicated account representative for one-to-one service.

In 2020, oneworld became the first global alliance united behind a common goal of net zero carbon emissions. To reach carbon neutrality by 2050, oneworld airlines are reducing single-use plastics and waste, improving operational efficiencies and using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). oneworld aspires to reach 10 per cent SAF use by 2030.

oneworld’s quest to transform the way we travel has been recognised by a host of industry awards. This includes being voted Business Traveller’s Best Airline Alliance for 11 years in a row, the first award dedicated to airline alliances.

The 25th anniversary of oneworld celebrates an innovative alliance that has changed travel over the past quarter of a century, and will undoubtedly continue to do so for another 25 years.


oneworld member carriers
Business Traveller March 2024 edition
Business Traveller March 2024 edition
Be up-to-date
Magazine Subscription
To see our latest subscription offers for Business Traveller editions worldwide, click on the Subscribe & Save link below