The world of aviation has evolved in way no one could have imagined, especially in recent years when major airlines started sharing routes, passengers, reward miles and much more to form the first airline alliances in the world.
It not only makes more routes and destinations accessible to travellers but also cuts infrastructure and management costs for the airlines, pushing down the price of air travel. Passengers don’t have to wait so long for a connecting flight thanks to so many code-share agreements between hundreds of airlines. They can also cash-in their rewards miles with more than just one airline. You might say, it’s a whole new way to travel.
There are three main airline alliances in the sky today: Star Alliance, SkyTeam and oneworld.
Star Alliance was the first airline alliance and today is the largest of the three major airline alliances. It was founded by six airlines in 1997 including Air Canada, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Thai Airways and United Airlines. Today it has 27 full members, operates out of 1,172 destination airports and flies to 181 different countries around the world.
|Air New Zealand||NZ||New Zealand|
|All Nippon Airways||NH||Japan|
|Asiana Airlines||OZ||South Korea|
|South African Airways||SA||South Africa|
SkyTeam is rather young compared to the other two airline alliances. It was formed in the year 2000 by Aeroméxico, Air France, Korean Air and Delta Air Lines. It may be the youngest but it’s the second largest! Today it is based out of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport and has 14 full member, operates out of 916 destination airports and flies to 169 different countries.
|China Southern Airlines||CZ||China|
|Czech Airlines||OK||Czech Republic|
|Kenya Airways 1||KQ||Kenya|
|Korean Air||KE||South Korea|
Last but certainly not least is oneworld, based in New York City. It was founded in 1999 by American Airlines, British Airways, Canadian Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Qantas. Although the smallest of the three, oneworld serves an impressive number of destinations and carries more than 300 million passengers a year. Today it has 12 full members, operates out of around 950 airports and flies to around 150 countries.
|British Airways||BA||United Kingdom|
|Mexicana de Aviación||MX||Mexico|