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The Traveller's Magazine

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

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.

Name IATA Code Country
Adria JP Slovenia
Aegean A3 Greece
Air Canada AC Canada
Air China CA China
Air New Zealand NZ New Zealand
All Nippon Airways NH Japan
Asiana Airlines OZ South Korea
Austrian Airlines OS Austria
Blue 1 KF Finland
bmi BD United Kingdom
Brussels Airlines SN Belgium
Continental Airlines CO USA
Croatia Airlines OU Croatia
EgyptAir MS Egypt
LOT LO Poland
Lufthansa LH Germany
Scandinavian Airlines SK Sweden
Singapore Airlines SQ Singapore
South African Airways SA South Africa
Spanair JK Spain
Swiss Air LX Switzerland
TAM JJ Brazil
TAP TP Portugal
Thai TG Thailand
Turkish Airlines TK Turkey
United UA USA
US Airways US USA


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.

Name IATA Code Country
Aeroflot SU Russia
Aeroméxico AM Mexico
Air Europa UX Spain
Air France AF France
Alitalia AZ Italy
China Southern Airlines CZ China
Czech Airlines OK Czech Republic
Delta Airlines DL USA
Kenya Airways 1 KQ Kenya
KLM KL Netherlands
Korean Air KE South Korea
TAROM RO Romania
Vietnam Airlines VN Vietnam


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.

Name IATA Code Country
American Airlines AA USA
British Airways BA United Kingdom
Cathay Pacific CX China
Qantas QF Australia
Japan Airlines JL Japan
Malév MA Hungary
Royal Jordanian RJ Jordan
Finnair AY Finland
Iberia IB Spain
LAN LA Chile
Mexicana de Aviación MX Mexico
S7 S7 Russia
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