Fiji Airways is setting its sights on the world, or more accurately, the oneworld Alliance. Fiji’s national carrier is already a oneworld Connect member, providing some limited partnerships and benefits with selected oneworld airlines. But the airline will become a full member of oneworld, on par with the likes of Qantas, British Airways and others.

Speaking at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) AGM in Dubai, oneworld Alliance CEO Nat Pieper confirms Fiji Airways’ upcoming admission into the alliance. A date for becoming a fully-fledged member hasn’t yet been set, but the plans are in motion.

‘I’m delighted today to announce that Fiji Airways will become a full 15th member of the oneworld Alliance,’ Pieper advises. ‘We’ve had a highly successful relationship over the past five years since the airline joined as a oneworld Connect partner. Fiji Airways will further strengthen oneworld’s position as the premier airline alliance for international global travellers.’

There’s a hint in the above if you read between the lines. Oneworld currently has 13 full members and is already preparing to admit Oman Air as a member later this year. Fiji Airways, being the 15th such member – as opposed to the 14th – would see it join the Alliance after Oman Air is on board.

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Fiji Airways’ oneworld Alliance ambitions

For Australian travellers, Fiji Airways’ transition to a full oneworld member is a subtle shift. Members of Qantas Frequent Flyer can already earn and spend Qantas Points on Fiji Airways flights. Equally, Status Credits can be earned on eligible Fiji Airways flights booked on an FJ flight number. (Status Credits can also be earned on a Qantas QF codeshare).

There are some reciprocal lounge access benefits already available between Qantas and Fiji Airways. But once Fiji is a full oneworld member, those intricacies become more passenger-friendly. Travellers would be able to access any available oneworld lounge when flying with Fiji Airways on any oneworld flight number. For instance, Qantas Platinum members could relax in a Qantas First Lounge even when flying Fiji Airways on an FJ flight number.

Fiji Airways to join oneworld as a full member
oneworld Alliance CEO Nat Pieper and Fiji Airways CEO Andre Viljeon.

It’ll be interesting to see whether Fiji Airways launches a full frequent flyer program as part of its admission into oneworld. Presently, it offers the equivalent of Status Credits to ascend to the Tabua Club Plus tier for lounge benefits and the like. But Fiji Airways doesn’t have a system to earn and burn its own points.

‘As a full oneworld member airline, we’re excited to enhance the travel experience for oneworld Alliance frequent flyers,’ Fiji Airways CEO Andre Viljoen says here in Dubai. This will ‘offer greater accessibility to Fiji and the South Pacific, and ensure seamless connections and memorable journeys for Fiji Airways customers across the Alliance network.’

‘Today, as the flag carrier of Fiji in the South Pacific, we serve 26 destinations in 15 countries and territories, including the oneworld hubs of Sydney, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, and Tokyo. While we have been a oneworld Connect member since 2018, attaining full membership has always been our goal.’

Qantas supports the airline’s upgrade in the Alliance

Qantas was already one of the oneworld carriers supporting Fiji Airways’ entry as a oneworld Connect member. Now, the Roo sees this latest development being as exciting as when the alliance itself was first launched.

‘I remember I was still at Qantas when oneworld was formed,’ Qantas CEO Vanessa Hudson shares. ‘The amount of excitement that came through our organisation, I could say it’s (now) as it was back then 25 years ago. The reason why oneworld has been such an incredible success is because of the unrivalled network that we as airlines provide to our joint customers.’

Qantas CEO Vanessa Hudson as Fiji Airways joins oneworld
Qantas CEO Vanessa Hudson addresses invited media in Dubai.

‘Adding new members as we go is just going to strengthen that. I’m delighted to see Fiji Airways join – our neighbour in the Pacific,’ Hudson adds.

Fiji Airways’ boss acknowledges that ‘we have a lot to live up to as a small island airline. But I’m confident that with our commitment to delivering excellent customer service, we will play an even bigger role carrying oneworld customers to Fiji and the South Pacific and demonstrate our Fiji warmth, hospitality, and care to even more travellers worldwide.’

Also read: Fly in style: Fiji Airways Business Class from $226 return with points

Photography by Chris Chamberlin, who is attending the IATA AGM in Dubai as a guest of IATA.

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Fiji Airways to become a full oneworld Alliance member was last modified: June 4th, 2024 by Chris Chamberlin