Fiji Airways joins oneworld family

Fiji Airways Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Andre Viljoen. Picture: SUPPLIED

FIJI Airways has become the first airline to be included into the global aviation alliance oneworld’s new platform. Called oneworld connect, the platform offers Fiji Airways customers access to an even broader global network. In a statement yesterday, oneworld announced Fiji Airways as being the alliance group’s first connect partner, however, services under the new partnership would be announced at a later date.

According to the company, the initial oneworld sponsors for the national carrier were the founding members of the alliance — American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Qantas.

The alliance revealed that Qantas would mentor Fiji Airways through its oneworld connect implementation process while British Airways was in talks with the national airline for potential bilateral co-operation.

Fiji Airways CEO Andre Viljoen said the airline was honoured to be the first oneworld connect partner globally.

“We are delighted to link Fiji, and the South Pacific to the world’s premier airline alliance and further deepen our relationships in particular with Qantas, American Airlines, British Airways and Cathay Pacific,” he said.

“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 inbound tourism that is so vital to our home nation and our region.”

Finnair CEO and oneworld governing board chairman Pekka Vauramo said oneworld connect enabled the alliance to bring together more airlines to complement their global leaders so customers could earn rewards while travelling even further.

Oneworld CEO Rob Gurney said their current network of more than 1000 destinations in 150 plus territories offered far-reaching global coverage, but there were still some regions where they would like to strengthen their presence further.

“With fewer potential new candidates available to recruit based on our established membership criteria, 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 or who are not interested in full membership at present,” Mr Gurney said.

“This enables us and them to offer our customers more services and benefits across an even wider network and strengthen our relationship going forward, with a streamlined and rapid path to full membership later on where it makes sense for all parties.”