Frequent flyer alliance Oneworld has launched a new platform, Oneworld Connect, allowing smaller airlines to join the network and customers to enjoy more services and benefits across an even more extensive global network.
The first airline to join in the new capacity as a Oneworld Connect partner will be Fiji Airways.
And if that’s not an excuse to go to Fiji in celebration, then we don’t know what is.
A date is yet to be announced for when Fiji Airways will officially start offering Oneworld Connect services and benefits.
Oneworld Connect is the first new membership platform unveiled by Oneworld since the alliance was first announced 20 years ago in 1998.
Discussion is currently underway with other carriers interested in participating in the programme, spanning across the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe.
In order to be initiated into the programme, each Oneworld Connect partner will need a minimum of three Oneworld members as its sponsors.
The initial Oneworld sponsors of Fiji Airways will be all four original founding members, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Qantas.
American Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Qantas already code-share and have frequent flyer links with Fiji Airways, and British Airways is currently discussing areas for potential bilateral cooperation with Fiji Airways.
Oneworld Connect partners will provide select alliance benefits to frequent flyers from any Oneworld member airline travelling on their flights.
Benefits for customers with emerald, sapphire or ruby status in any Oneworld member airline’s frequent flyer programs, include priority check-in desk and priority boarding.
Oneworld CEO Rob Gurney said: “Oneworld’s current network of more than 1,000 destinations in 150 plus territories offers far-reaching global coverage, but there are still some regions where we would like to strengthen our presence further.
“Oneworld Connect enables us to link up with other airlines whose networks are relevant to a subset of our members, who cannot meet Oneworld’s full membership requirements at this stage.”
Fiji Airways CEO Andre Viljoen added: “This important step for our airline enables us to offer more services and benefits to our own customers along with the others in the Oneworld family, to achieve a greater presence for our airline internationally and to build on the in-bound tourism that is so vital to our home nation and our region.”