Three new carriers, namely Japan Airlines (JAL), Hungary's Malev and Royal Jordanian will become members of the Oneworld alliance on April 1. It means new routing and loyalty programme (FFP) earning opportunities for passengers booking Oneworld member airlines.
British Airways passengers for instance will find that JAL not only offers access to the whole of Japan but that this carrier offers another way to reach Northern Asian destinations like South Korea. JAL is also is a big player on the voluminous transpacific routes from Japan to Honolulu and the US mainland. And as JAL also serves Australia, BA and Qantas passengers have another option for routing themselves between Europe and Australia.
Likewise Malev provides additional coverage of Eastern and Central Europe while it also offers an alternative London departure airport (Gatwick) for Budapest.
Besides serving its hometown of Amman, Royal Jordanian has a network which extends from the Middle East to Asia, the Gulf and the Far East.
And all three carriers enhance the opportunities available to Oneworld passengers buying the popular Explorer round-the-world ticket.
Oneworld says that 20 million frequent flyers from the three new members will be able to earn and redeem points on all other Oneworld carriers. These include 19.5 million members of JAL's Mileage Bank. 75,000 members of Malev's Duna Club and the 90,000 members of Royal Jordanian's Royal Plus.
In the meantime three other carriers are expected to join Oneworld later this year: Dragonair (a Hong Kong regional airline), LAN Argentina and LAN Ecuador. Joining dates will be announced in due course.
For more information go to oneworld.com.
Report by Alex McWhirter