Qatar Airways CEO Wants Oneworld Alliance To Grow

Qatar Airways CEO Wants Oneworld Alliance To Grow

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It seems like in many ways the “big three” global alliances have been deemphasized over the past several years, as airlines instead focus on joint ventures and other narrower bilateral agreements and partnerships. The oneworld alliance has seen both Alaska Airlines and Royal Air Maroc join in recent months. Could this momentum continue, and could the alliance see significant growth in the near future?

Al Baker’s priority is to grow oneworld alliance

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker was appointed the chairman of oneworld this spring, and he has some big plans for the alliance. In an interview this week, Al Baker talked about his plans for the oneworld alliance while he’s chairman:

“First and foremost, my priority will be to grow the alliance. We want to be number one. Like in everything we do at QR, under my leadership we don’t accept anything other than being number one. So for me, it is a big challenge now to grow the alliance, to bring more members.

And secondly, it is also for us to make our presence known as oneworld alliance. I think that we are lagging behind when it is coming to the branding we do. I think the members, minus Qatar Airways, are not branding the alliance as it really deserves. And for us it is important that now we be aggressive and let people know that we are today the best alliance.”

For some context, here’s how the membership numbers of the current global alliances compares:

  • oneworld has 14 member airlines
  • SkyTeam has 19 member airlines
  • Star Alliance has 26 member airlines
Alaska Airlines is the newest oneworld member airline

Is oneworld alliance growth realistic?

While oneworld is the smallest of the global alliances, personally I think it’s already competitive with both SkyTeam and Star Alliance, particularly when it comes to elite recognition. I’d argue that oneworld Emerald is by far the best elite status offered by any alliance.

I’m hugely in favor of Al Baker’s goal of greatly increasing oneworld’s airline membership base. This would be great for frequent flyers, as it would offer more reciprocal mileage earning and redemption opportunities.

On the surface there are lots of airlines where you’d think oneworld membership could be mutually beneficial. Off the top of my head, airlines like Air Serbia, Bamboo Airways, and Starlux Airlines, seem like great fits for the oneworld alliance, just to name a few.

And if we’re going to get a bit more creative, it seems like there could also be potential with airlines like EL AL, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue, LOT Polish Airlines (which isn’t treated particularly fairly by Star Alliance), Porter Airlines (once it expands with Embraer aircraft), and RwandAir. Obviously there are lots of factors at play here, but those are just some examples of airlines where I see potential, based on a 30 second brainstorming session. 😉

Could Porter Airlines join oneworld when it grows?

So, why don’t alliances grow at a faster pace, and why do I wonder whether significant growth for oneworld is realistic? A few things:

  • Joining a global alliance is expensive; maybe someone can chime in with some details of how the fee structure works (I forgot), but it’s a not-insignificant cost for airlines
  • Typically founding members of an alliance have veto power for new members joining, and in a way this creates a conflict of interest; for example, while it might be in the best interest of the alliance overall to have more member airlines in Asia, Cathay Pacific may be opposed to Bamboo Airways or Starlux Airlines joining the alliance
  • Ultimately there’s only so much that a couple of dozen airlines belonging to an alliance will have in common, so airlines are largely instead focused on mutually beneficial reciprocal agreements, like joint ventures; for example, even though Aer Lingus is owned by IAG (the same company as British Airways and Iberia), the decision has been made for the airline not to join the oneworld alliance
Bamboo Airways could be a great fit for oneworld

So I’d absolutely love to see oneworld expand — particularly in Eastern Europe, Asia (in particular in mainland China and Southeast Asia), and Central & Southern Africa — but growing an alliance is no small task. Not only can it be tough to sell new airlines on the value proposition of joining an alliance, but it can also be tough to get existing member airlines to accept new additions.

Perhaps the one reason it could happen now is because Al Baker is behind these growth plans. Keep in mind that Qatar Airways is a shareholder in both Cathay Pacific and IAG (the parent company of British Airways and Iberia), so perhaps with support from those airlines, more growth opportunities may be achievable.

Bottom line

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker has made it clear that he wants the oneworld alliance to grow while he’s chairman. I would be thrilled to see oneworld add more airline partners, as it would give frequent flyers more opportunities to earn and redeem miles, and receive reciprocal elite recognition.

Under normal circumstances growing an alliance’s membership would be challenging, though if there’s anyone who can accomplish it, I think it’s Al Baker. I’ll be watching to see how this unfolds.

What do you think — does the oneworld alliance have room to grow? Which airline would you like to see join?

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  1. Al

    Definitely can't imagine El Al joining One World at this point. I would think Royal Jordanian would not be interested in having a competing one world hub 130 miles away and its hard to see what value El Al would add to the One World network especially now that American flies direct to Israel.

  2. Yolo

    Air Serbia joining Oneworld would fill a huge gap in the alliance in Eastern Europe.

  3. Kevin

    Ben, what do you think the chances are China Southern could join? Would also be great if a South American airline would join One World. Losing Latam limited many connection options.

    1. JW

      I second that, CX veto or not, having CZ as a OW airline opens a huge door to the Chinese Market. CZ after all is the largest airline in China.

      A QR backed Rwandair would also be beneficial in conquering Africa.

    2. VT-CIE

      Once airlines leave alliances they are highly unlikely to join others. CZ left SkyTeam and LA quit Oneworld. Both of them have wanted to go it alone, with some outside support from their US partners (AA and DL respectively). Neither is interested in any alliances other than that. Hainan is also quite happy without an alliance.

      As for WB, I definitely see them joining Oneworld, especially if QR leases them some aircraft to grow, seeing...

      Once airlines leave alliances they are highly unlikely to join others. CZ left SkyTeam and LA quit Oneworld. Both of them have wanted to go it alone, with some outside support from their US partners (AA and DL respectively). Neither is interested in any alliances other than that. Hainan is also quite happy without an alliance.

      As for WB, I definitely see them joining Oneworld, especially if QR leases them some aircraft to grow, seeing as they currently have just two A330s for all their long-haul operations. Given the all-or-nothing nature of QR, I see WB trying to be the next KQ for sure, if not ET.

    3. ernestnywang

      Both MX and CO switched alliance before. MX, in particular, left *A first and then joined oneworld several years after.

  4. baflyer2

    I like the fact that oneworld is smaller. In some ways, I think oneworld is able to offer valuable Emerald/Sapphire benefits *because* it is smaller. I feel like adding more members will "dilute" the experience, so to speak. Star Alliance is big with 26 members but doesn't offer competitive elite benefits. But I agree, I don't think members are advertising oneworld as they should.

  5. Leigh

    It would be good to see JetBlue, China Southern and GOL formalize entry into oneworld.

    I could see El Al a good fit. I didn't see any alliance affiliation on their website (did I miss it?), and I see them as more O/D versus connecting traffic so not really competing with Royal Jordanian, and it would fill in the gap in Southern/Central Europe-Israel nicely.

    No clue about LOT, but you would know better than...

    It would be good to see JetBlue, China Southern and GOL formalize entry into oneworld.

    I could see El Al a good fit. I didn't see any alliance affiliation on their website (did I miss it?), and I see them as more O/D versus connecting traffic so not really competing with Royal Jordanian, and it would fill in the gap in Southern/Central Europe-Israel nicely.

    No clue about LOT, but you would know better than me, Ben. They do seem awfully close to the LH network.

    Would be best oneworld could steal Westjet from their DL partnership, but not sure if there's any chance. Porter would be okay, but just okay, and not sure if they have enough seats to justify the cost of entry, even with their growing fleet.

    I also don't see HA joining, as AS is such a huge competitor for them.

    Aside from Africa and the Subcontinent (Sri Lankan aside), I don't see any major gaps. Maybe Mexico as well, but there's no other full service carrier other than Aeromexico to snare.

    I wonder what Al Baker has up his sleeve, and if the other oneworld airlines will give him free reign to target expansion.

    1. Jack

      Having flown LOT it's a decent airline, not great but would definitely fix Oneworld's weakness for Schengen-area flights (Iberia is just so far out of the way).

      Porter is small *now* but with development (and maybe investment from oneworld airlines?) over the next few years they could at the very least become a oneworld Connect partner like Fiji Airways.

  6. Ramon Rogel

    Philippine Airlines would be a good fit for Oneworld. It needs a 2nd ASEAN carrier because its rivals – Skyteam has Garuda Indonesia & Vietnam Airlines, Star has Thai Airways(one of the Star’s founders) & Singapore Airlines, while Malaysia Airlines is the only ASEAN airline in Oneworld.

    1. Leigh

      I had thought about Philippine Airlines, but it’s yields are a very poor fit for oneworld, or any alliance...sorry Philippines! It’s substantially VFR and ex-pat workers....just doesn’t fit, especially for the likes of Al Baker. Front of the cabin is lower yields than most other destinations, and Cathay can easily capture the higher yielding pax via HKG.

    2. Ramon Rogel

      For many years, some OW carriers have been lurking PAL to join Oneworld. Malaysia Airlines is getting weak because of two major disasters back-to-back - MH 370 & MH 17. It also loses cash very rapidly while PAL is back on the track to become a 4-star airline... If the pandemic doesn't happen.

      Also PAL has a good history on cooperating some of OW carriers - Cathay temporary takes over PAL's domestic services during...

      For many years, some OW carriers have been lurking PAL to join Oneworld. Malaysia Airlines is getting weak because of two major disasters back-to-back - MH 370 & MH 17. It also loses cash very rapidly while PAL is back on the track to become a 4-star airline... If the pandemic doesn't happen.

      Also PAL has a good history on cooperating some of OW carriers - Cathay temporary takes over PAL's domestic services during the temporary shutdown in 1998, JAL leases a PAL plane to serve its first international destination after WW2. And lastly AA plans to codeshare with PAL just before the pandemic had started.

    3. ernestnywang

      PAL has some good ties with oneworld airlines, but ANA is a shareholder of PAL. Don't think it would work out that easily.

  7. Evan

    Oneworld very anti-competitive in Europe.... Yes B.A. goes everywhere but taxes/fees aren't really competitive with award cost& abundant availability of star alliance. Would love to see that improve.

  8. Ramon Rogel

    Aerolineas Argentinas is another airline to be in Oneworld's list. Because since former Oneworld member LATAM is now with Delta(Skyteam Member) in a joint venture. If the latter carrier joins Skyteam, no choice for the Argentinian carrier but to leave Sky & jump into the Oneworld fold.

  9. VT-CIE

    Not related to Oneworld, but I’ve always harboured a dream of Oman Air joining the Star Alliance. QR is the mega-airline in Oneworld (with very feeble support from RJ), while SkyTeam at least has Saudia (with much less brand recognition, but still a great —albeit dry—product) and Middle East Airlines. The Star Alliance has to rely on EgyptAir and Turkish Airlines. It doesn’t have a strong ME carrier. EK has always wanted to go it...

    Not related to Oneworld, but I’ve always harboured a dream of Oman Air joining the Star Alliance. QR is the mega-airline in Oneworld (with very feeble support from RJ), while SkyTeam at least has Saudia (with much less brand recognition, but still a great —albeit dry—product) and Middle East Airlines. The Star Alliance has to rely on EgyptAir and Turkish Airlines. It doesn’t have a strong ME carrier. EK has always wanted to go it alone and EY is rapidly shrinking. Only WY has both the product and the potential to make it big in the Star Alliance (other than GF) from the Middle East. That’s my opinion . :)

    1. Jack

      You don't consider Turkish to be a strong ME carrier? It has a great network and great product, definitely competitive with Qatar.

    2. VT-CIE

      The thing is TK is a very strong carrier by all means. But it is much more of a European airline than a Middle Eastern one, and it is usually considered to be European because of IST’s transcontinental location.

    3. VT-CIE

      TK is a very strong carrier by all means. But it is much more of a European airline than a Middle Eastern one, and it is usually considered to be European because of IST’s transcontinental location. Also, TK cannot fly to Australia and NZ because of range restrictions, so it cannot quite compete with QR and EK there. Then again, nor can WY!

  10. Evan

    Maybe it's just me, but IMO these airline alliances are overrated. There seem to be so many caveats on awards, etc., especially when you fly some of the "second tier" members, so to speak. Also, the service standards can be vastly different between airlines. Finally (and I have had this happen), when there's trouble and it's with an alliance partner, the airline starts acting like it's not part of any alliance and will do nothing...

    Maybe it's just me, but IMO these airline alliances are overrated. There seem to be so many caveats on awards, etc., especially when you fly some of the "second tier" members, so to speak. Also, the service standards can be vastly different between airlines. Finally (and I have had this happen), when there's trouble and it's with an alliance partner, the airline starts acting like it's not part of any alliance and will do nothing to help you.

    I prefer the JV airlines. The airlines involved are limited. Also, the policies are much more "harmonious".

    To this day, I still think the best alliance was NW-KLM. Service wise, middle of the pack airlines. But, I liked that they developed World Business Class (yet, outdated by today's standards) as standard across both airlines.

  11. Eskimo

    Funny people still take this guy's word seriously. He loves to talk and pick a fight. He's a good executive but his interviews are just full of it.
    He's probably the only airline executive to say something stupid like buying planes with bitcoin (you heard it first here)

  12. Jack

    Porter joining oneworld would basically be my dream as a Canada-based AA flyer. Pre-COVID I would usually connect through ORD or DFW when I needed to fly across Canada; but now I've been stuck with Westjet or Air Canada with no status and no useful points earning.

    1. ernestnywang

      QR is a shareholder of IAG. Al Baker should convince EI to rejoin.

  13. Carl M Sherer

    Al,

    El Al already code shares with AA, IB and QF. The big issues with it joining are that TLV is not a hub (there is almost no connecting traffic) and their service level is nowhere near that of the other One World airlines (the last straw for me was when they left me stranded in Munich for 12 hours when I was on my way back to Israel for two and a half days).

    Al,

    El Al already code shares with AA, IB and QF. The big issues with it joining are that TLV is not a hub (there is almost no connecting traffic) and their service level is nowhere near that of the other One World airlines (the last straw for me was when they left me stranded in Munich for 12 hours when I was on my way back to Israel for two and a half days).
    The elephant in the room is whether QR and RJ are willing to be in an alliance with the Israeli national airline. El Al was just bought by a US based family and perhaps that might provide enough cover for QR and RJ to say yes. RJ already flies to TLV from AMM.

  14. Benjamin G Guttery

    I would love for them to grow as well, and to steal some airlines from other programs, like how we lost LATAM because of Delta really hurt my South American connectivity. It would take multiple carriers to replace that loss, such as GOL and AZUL and another.

  15. Jon

    Good luck! I'd be eager to see them grow. This would benefit all airlines' frequent flyers the most of course. South America, Southern Africa, and Eastern Europe are huge gaps for Oneworld.

    Sure you have long-haul coverage in many of these places (AA for South America, RAM and Qatar for Africa, and BA for Eastern Europe), but the amount of connectivity compared to regional airlines in those areas is severely lacking compared to Sky and Star.

  16. Weymar Osborne

    Right now, In terms of the value they provide I'd say Star Alliance and Oneworld are 1a and 1b, with SkyTeam being a distant third. I have a slight preference for Star Alliance because their member airlines serve the destinations I tend to travel to a little better, and because of the few niche programs that allow you to earn status easily, but I can't deny that OneWorld has some truly top airlines and OW...

    Right now, In terms of the value they provide I'd say Star Alliance and Oneworld are 1a and 1b, with SkyTeam being a distant third. I have a slight preference for Star Alliance because their member airlines serve the destinations I tend to travel to a little better, and because of the few niche programs that allow you to earn status easily, but I can't deny that OneWorld has some truly top airlines and OW Emerald is definitely the most valuable status that exists in the frequent flyer sphere. Only problem is I don't think there is a program within the alliance that would allow me to earn status in the way that A3 or OZ would. SkyTeam... well, perhaps some of the smaller airlines might have a program with reasonable redemption rates, but when I can't find an award across the Atlantic for less than 115,000 miles through Flying Blue or Skymiles, it is a pretty big turn-off and keeps me away from engaging with any of the alliance members. That, and the lack of universal First Class redemption options, as well as weaker elite benefits compared to equivalent status in *A or OW. Oneworld is a few small changes away from me being sufficiently swooned to fully embrace them, and the addition of Alaska has already done a lot to get the ball rolling in that direction.

  17. Frederik

    Not only regarding expansion, but as of now One World really needs ASAP:

    A Mainland European airline to replace the Air Berlin intra-European network.

    A South American airline to replace LATAM.

    It will be much harder doing a One World RTW ticket now than it was a mere 4 years ago when these carriers were part of the alliance.

  18. Radio

    Without getting too far into the weeds, I think a number of the airlines mentioned in the article could be good fits for oneworld. The obvious airline to add to the list is China Southern. Given the volatile situation in Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific may ultimately need a merger partner to survive. Another Chinese carrier that could be considered is Hainan, as I believe American has a codeshare agreement with it (which was mentioned in...

    Without getting too far into the weeds, I think a number of the airlines mentioned in the article could be good fits for oneworld. The obvious airline to add to the list is China Southern. Given the volatile situation in Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific may ultimately need a merger partner to survive. Another Chinese carrier that could be considered is Hainan, as I believe American has a codeshare agreement with it (which was mentioned in a regulatory filing about its new service from Seattle to Shanghai). Given American's strength in the western hemisphere, I wonder if Aerolineas Argentinas could potentially switch over from SkyTeam. I'm not sure Hawaiian is a good candidate for any alliance, because of its unique niche. It may not be in a position to play favorites. Rwandair seems like a good fit as it would give the alliance a presence in East Africa, and it has ties to Qatar. But it's important to remember that sheer size isn't always the answer. More often than not, quality is better than quantity.

    1. Stuart

      Hawaiian might not fit as a full alliance member but they could be sponsored, I don’t know how they describe it but I’m sure BA and Qantas sponsored Fiji Airways in as a partial member.

    2. Radio

      Hawaiian would fit in oneworld geographically, given the presense of both Qantas and Fiji. Ait Tahiti Nui might also be a candidate.

    3. JW

      HX is almost dead with proceedings filed against it by the CCP, we do not want another Air Berlin case here. CZ still makes the most sense since its government owned and has a large chunk of the domestic market there covered. If there is any merger of CX it will likely be more with CA since they have a 30% share in the airline.

    4. Radio

      A merger between China Southern and Cathay Pacific isn't the only possibility. As you point out, Air China owns 30% of CX. Wouldn't a HU/CZ merger work? Another possibility could be Porter and Air Transat in Canada.

  19. Dev

    How about Etihad or Virgin join the One world. I personally would like to see more airline joining oneworld. At one point I read somewhere that Qatar was thinking of leaving one world but reading today article that Qatar CEO want to expand oneworld that is welcome news. I love travelling with Qatar and oneworld partners.

    1. Scott

      Delta own 49% of virgin Atlantic. Highly unlikely.

  20. Dc333

    You mention the high costs post-launch, but there are significant ramp-up costs just to achieve alliance standards in IT infrastructure, e-commerce, facilities and physical infrastructure, branding, policy and procedure, training, and more. I think coming out of this deep industry downturn, the real costs to join an alliance would be a significant barrier to new entrants. The marginal costs post-launch could be offset by added feed and growth.

  21. Nevsky

    How about making it into an alliance first, such as by interlining baggage? In fact, this is an even bigger issue during the pandemic when some countries will only let you transit is if your bags are interlined.

  22. Crosscourt

    They need one in south america, India(after Kingfisher demise), Africa (royal air maroc doesn't cut it nearly enough), eastern Europe that has proper connections to Western Europe .

  23. Andy

    I agree, the most obvious candidates are full service subsidiaries (or siblings) of existing members, in particular Aer Lingus - and once it is taken over by IAG also Air Europa (currently a Skyteam member).

    Next, geographical gaps shpuld be addressed with priority. The least controversial one is Latin America, after the exit of Latam - but candidates are not plentiful. The only one I can see is Gol and possibly Carribean Airlines. The other...

    I agree, the most obvious candidates are full service subsidiaries (or siblings) of existing members, in particular Aer Lingus - and once it is taken over by IAG also Air Europa (currently a Skyteam member).

    Next, geographical gaps shpuld be addressed with priority. The least controversial one is Latin America, after the exit of Latam - but candidates are not plentiful. The only one I can see is Gol and possibly Carribean Airlines. The other geographic gap is mainland China, but I know Cathay is up in arms, especially against the most obvious candidate, China Southern (which has strong ties with AA). Then continental Europe, where the bankruptcy of Air Berlin left a gap. There Lot might come in (unhappy StarAlliance member, already with sub-hubs in Budapest and Tallinn). An interesting candidate might be Air Baltic, although geographically probably too close to Helsinki and Finnair.

  24. Carl

    Historically I have had good luck with Star Alliance. I like LH, LX, TK, SQ, BR, NH, OZ... and have lifetime UA status. So they have been my goto alliance for international travel.

    Because I am also an AS flyer, I am open to trying OneWorld more... BUT I have never liked BA and I despise LHR and its awful policies and experience. Oneworld doesn't have enough connectivity in Europe if you prefer to...

    Historically I have had good luck with Star Alliance. I like LH, LX, TK, SQ, BR, NH, OZ... and have lifetime UA status. So they have been my goto alliance for international travel.

    Because I am also an AS flyer, I am open to trying OneWorld more... BUT I have never liked BA and I despise LHR and its awful policies and experience. Oneworld doesn't have enough connectivity in Europe if you prefer to avoid LHR. JL is great. While CX is an awesome airline with what has happened with the new security law and PRC imposition of its will on HKG, I may see myself wanting to avoid HKG. So Oneworld has really is missing an awful lot of pieces.

    I look forward to trying QR and appreciate that they have good fares.

  25. Joe

    This reminds of 45
    I see the resemblance between him & Mr. Baker
    Plus I believe they are friends as well
    He might be asking him for advice as well

  26. bruh

    I'm curious about QR's stance if El Al were to join OneWorld. Does that mean El Al and QR will sign an interline agreement? Will you be able to fly on El Al by redeeming and earn QMiles or vice-versa? RJ operates a direct AMM-TLV flight, so I am not concerned about RJ, but rather QR. Damn, that would really be interesting to observe.

  27. Apso Eyot

    In terms of growth, I think Oneworld needs more coverage in South America and the center of continental Europe.

    With South America, that ship has pretty much sailed. LATAM filled that role very nicely, until they decided they wanted to abandon their long time pal AA and instead become complete enemies with them, which is still hard to believe. I thought that before, it was perfectly balanced as everything should be down there, with Star...

    In terms of growth, I think Oneworld needs more coverage in South America and the center of continental Europe.

    With South America, that ship has pretty much sailed. LATAM filled that role very nicely, until they decided they wanted to abandon their long time pal AA and instead become complete enemies with them, which is still hard to believe. I thought that before, it was perfectly balanced as everything should be down there, with Star getting Copa and Avianca, Skyteam getting Aerolíneas, and Oneworld getting all those different LATAMs. Even if AA still provides a large route network to Latin and South America that should sound great for Oneworld, that network only goes to/from the US, so when flying within South America, Oneworld still has nothing now. (I know AA had to settle for GOL as a partner to try to fill this void, but they’re a LCC, so it’s pretty much just a bandaid strategy that makes little to no sense, particularly for the premium travelers.) It sucks for them, since there’s currently no other feasible carrier in that region, particularly one not already in an alliance, that would be interested in joining Oneworld and potentially filling LATAM’s former role (I would’ve thought Azul would, but they seem to like partnering with a bunch of Star Alliance airlines instead).

    I mention Central Europe because I’d think it would’ve made a lot more sense if Swiss had remained committed to their friendship with BA from the early 2000s and joined Oneworld. Now, as part of Lufthansa Group, Swiss seems a bit redundant. Geography-wise and function-wise, ZRH seems to overlap too much with FRA and MUC, and I’m not a fan of how they actively try to position Swiss as more premium than the group’s namesake airline. Going forward, I’d think LOT is the next best asset for Oneworld, especially when they don’t seem to be happy with Star. It’s great how they’re positioned a bit east of Central Europe, so they can use their hub to capture some Eastern Europe demand as well. Whether it be LOT or what could’ve been Swiss, having a Oneworld airline based in the middle of continental Europe would’ve made the area more balanced. Currently, Central Europe is too dominated by Star, and there’s a major problem of Oneworld’s European airlines all being based on the outer edges of the continent, making intra-European connecting itineraries highly inconvenient.

    I don’t think Oneworld should get too big. It seems about the right size and I appreciate how they appear more selective compared to the other alliances. For instance, Star Alliance seems like it’s too big and, not meaning to be offensive here, it feels like it contains too many airlines that seem too small and insignificant from a global network point of view to be a worthwhile addition to the alliance (Croatia Airlines and the now-defunct Adria Airways come to mind).

    While it would be wonderful for Bamboo Airways or Starlux to join Oneworld, they’re too close to Cathay. China Southern is a maybe. While they’re based in Guangzhou, which should be way too close to Cathay (both cities are connected by a 45 minute MTR ride and located in the predominantly Cantonese-speaking region of China), they have an enormous network within mainland China, with many places Cathay doesn’t serve. Not to mention, they’re trying to ensure better coverage of northern China, mainly through trying to make the new Beijing-Daxing airport their second mega hub.

  28. Masood Ahmed

    I would like Emirates , Turkish and Etihad to be in one world.

  29. Teodor

    Qatar Airways is my choice and always will be, exelent services all over, please keep it up,,,

  30. Henry Zhao

    Hopefully Gol airlines in Brazil to help out South America. They’re practically almost oneworld anyway with Qatar and AA as partners…

  31. Vito

    I think GOL (G3) is another candidate, since Delta bought LATAM and took it away from OneWorld. G3 already partners with AA, BA and QR, so it would be an easy fit.

  32. Simon

    China southern or Hainan Airlines. Cathay footprint in mainland China is minimal. Would be nice to have a OW partner there.

  33. James Steiner

    Don't look for JetBlue to join any of the 3 alliances. They are quite content on interlines and pursuing the codeshare that they want (pre Covid1-19, they had Emirates (their biggest codeshare partner), Qatar, and Etihad, as well as EL AL, Aer Lingus, LATAM, Avianca, Korean Air, Asiana, South African Airways and several others. JetBlue was/is quite happy with the agreements that have. During and coming out of the pandemic, there is the Northeast Alliance/Codeshare...

    Don't look for JetBlue to join any of the 3 alliances. They are quite content on interlines and pursuing the codeshare that they want (pre Covid1-19, they had Emirates (their biggest codeshare partner), Qatar, and Etihad, as well as EL AL, Aer Lingus, LATAM, Avianca, Korean Air, Asiana, South African Airways and several others. JetBlue was/is quite happy with the agreements that have. During and coming out of the pandemic, there is the Northeast Alliance/Codeshare with American Airlines (focusing of flights out of New York JFK, Newark & LaGuardia and Boston.

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JW

HX is almost dead with proceedings filed against it by the CCP, we do not want another Air Berlin case here. CZ still makes the most sense since its government owned and has a large chunk of the domestic market there covered. If there is any merger of CX it will likely be more with CA since they have a 30% share in the airline.

Dylan

Hopefully we finally see Aer Lingus join

Jack

Porter joining oneworld would basically be my dream as a Canada-based AA flyer. Pre-COVID I would usually connect through ORD or DFW when I needed to fly across Canada; but now I've been stuck with Westjet or Air Canada with no status and no useful points earning.

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