Seattle-based Alaska Airlines has announced that it will be joining the Oneworld Alliance next summer. The airline has always been unaligned from any airline alliance but has had a fruitful 40 year old code-share agreement with American Airlines, which is also a Oneworld member.
The Oneworld Alliance recently lost South American carrier LATAM after Delta Air Lines purchased a 20% stake in the airline in late 2019, meaning that the addition of Alaska Airlines to the alliance is a major win for the group. The new partnership allows Oneworld to strengthen its presence in North America and provides easy access to Alaska Airlines’ passengers to over 1200 Oneworld destinations across the globe. Additionally the group will strengthen its already fragile relationship with American Airlines.
“Alaska has always been proud to serve Seattle, the city that we call home. We’re thrilled to give our guests more choice, broader use of loyalty benefits, and seamless global service with American and Oneworld,” said Ben Minicucci, President of Alaska Airlines.
The four decade old code-share agreement between Alaska Airlines and American Airlines was hanging in the balance after Alaska purchased assets of Virgin America back in 2016. The two airlines had drastically scaled down their reward benefits in 2018 and were set to end the code-share in March 2020, however, this decision has been reversed following the announcement of Alaska’s entry into Oneworld. The relationship between the two has been strengthened more than ever before. Frequent Flyer members of Alaska Mileage Plan and American Advantage would be able to take reciprocal benefits as well as benefits from and to other Oneworld members.
Alaska Airlines has an all narrow-body fleet and has thus been unable to serve the European or Asian markets. So, American has announced two major long haul routes from Alaska Airlines hub Seattle Tacoma International Airport, the first being to Bengaluru, India and the second to London. The flights are timed according to Alaska’s domestic network to give Alaska Airlines passengers seamless connections onto their flights to Bengaluru or London from SeaTac. This is the first time that American Airlines will be flying to India since it stopped its service to New Delhi in 2012.