oneworld is rapidly moving ahead with its digital revolution, with more member airlines linking up its new digital platform and more capabilities added.

20 Years oneworld Press conference
20 Years oneworld Press conference

This fast progress in rolling out the global airline alliance’s flagship customer initiative comes as:

  • Discussions are at an advanced stage with a number of airlines from several global regions interested in signing as oneworld connect partners, less than six months after Fiji Airways became the debut airline to operate via this new membership platform.
  • Implementation advances of Royal Air Maroc as oneworld’s first full member recruit for six years and its first from Africa, targeting a joining date in the first half of 2020.
  • The alliance is close to finalising the location for the first oneworld developed, branded and managed lounge, with talks progressing with several candidate airports around the world.

These initiatives – along with a fresh, contemporary and more inclusive approach to its brand positioning – form key elements of oneworld’s transformation programme, unveiled in February and designed to generate more value for customer and member airlines as the alliance marks the 20th anniversary of its launch this year.

Switch planes, not apps – bringing oneworld’s core customer promise to life digitally

oneworld’s new digital platform, designed to make it even easier for travellers to fly across the alliance’s 1,100-destination global network by harnessing the power and convenience of latest technology, has achieved a number of key landmarks since its launch in February, adding capabilities to the platform.

As it is progressively rolled out, it will bring to life in the digital era the alliance’s core promise of seamless connectivity for customers flying on multi-sector, multi-airline journeys, via the convenience of their preferred member airline’s mobile app or website – without having to download any additional app or enter more log-in credentials.

Cathay Pacific and Qatar Airways were the first oneworld members to connect up in this way, in January, enabling their customers to use either airline’s app and/or website to check-in and receive boarding passes for connecting flights on either airline.

Now, it also offers the capability of delivering information and updates on passengers’ connecting flights – with Qantas the first oneworld member to deliver flight status information to its oneworld partners this way.

Two other oneworld members are close to completing their links to the platform.

Iberia will in the coming days offer its customers the capability to check-in and receive boarding passes for connecting flights on the other airlines already linked to the platform, Cathay Pacific or Qatar Airways - with both those airlines now also enabling their customers to check-in and receive boarding passes for connecting flights on Iberia.

Finnair will very soon enable the other airlines connected – Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways and now also Iberia – to provide customers with connections to or from Finnair to receive e-boarding passes via their Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways or Iberia app or website.

At the same time, the alliance is working on adding other digital services, such as:

  • Baggage tracking
  • Full seat selection, including when payments are required
  • The ability to pay for additional baggage

As more airlines link to the platform and more capabilities are added, it will cover an increasing number of transfers between oneworld member airlines. With its full roll-out, every journey involving a connection between two or more oneworld member airlines will be supported by this level of ease and convenience.

Currently, more than 8 million passengers a year make journeys that involve connections between different oneworld member airlines – generating interline revenues of more than US$ 5.5 billion in the past year alone.

Up until now, the only way these passengers could check-in for multi-sector journeys involving a connection with another oneworld member airline via a single point of contact was to do so at a desk at the initial airport of departure. The alliance’s new digital capability, when fully rolled out, means they will now, if they choose, be able to use their preferred member airline’s app and/or website to do so, without having to download any additional app or enter more log-in credentials.

oneworld CEO Rob Gurney said: “The role of global alliances, like oneworld, is to connect the networks of airlines, making it easier and more rewarding for customers to travel to many more places beyond the reach of any single carrier. Our new digital platform brings our promise of seamless connectivity to life in the digital era – delivering multi-airline, multi-sector journeys the way they should be in this millennial day and age.

“Threequarters of oneworld’s frequent flyers use at least one airline app. Half of them have at least three airline apps on their mobile devices – but there is a strong preference for using just one single app to cover a journey involving a transfer between different airlines. Yet, until today, the technology to support that has not been available. It is now – and oneworld is on track to be the first alliance to offer this capability across its entire network.”