cooperation agreement between two or more airlines
Travel topics > Transportation > Flying > Airline alliances

Airline alliances are formed when different airlines agree to substantially cooperate with each other. Advantages for customers include more destinations and more convenient connections, while the airlines benefit by feeding passengers to each other instead of to competitors.

UnderstandEdit

For travelers, the most obvious effect of airline alliances is codesharing whereby one airline will sell a seat on a flight with its own flight number, but the flight is performed by a different airline. (Note that not all airlines are part of an airline alliance, and not even all airlines within the same alliance do codeshares with each other.)

Although many airlines in an alliance have subsidiaries, the subsidiaries are often not members of the alliance which the parents are part of.

How does this apply to me?Edit

  • Airline alliances tend to coordinate their flights to ease connections, flying intercontinental flights to each other's hubs, adjusting schedules and grouping one alliance's flights at a single terminal at large airports. They code-share and interline with each other so that you can travel to many more destinations on a single ticket sold by your local airline.
  • You can collect frequent flyer miles when flying on an alliance partner airline. This means for example that a passenger with Qantas can claim mileage when flying with another OneWorld airline such as British Airways.
  • Additionally, status levels that you have on one airline are generally recognized by other airlines in the same alliance. For example, a 'Morning Calm' status with Korean Air will automatically give you 'Elite' status when flying with another airline in the SkyTeam alliance. Thus, you can check in at the Business Class counter, get priority luggage tags, getting emergency exit row seats assigned to you and priority boarding of the aircraft.
  • Travelers can take advantage of a round-the-world ticket, a ticket with the ability to stop at a few countries around the world for a relatively lower price.

OneworldEdit

Oneworld is the smallest alliance counting by the number of airlines. The member airlines are spread evenly around the world, so it is a workable option when planning a long multi-point trip such as for a round the world flight. It was the first alliance to introduce interlining e-tickets.

MembersEdit

Airline Country Hubs Frequent flyer
program
Lounges IATA
American Airlines   United States Charlotte, Chicago - O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York - JFK, New York - LaGuardia, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Washington - Reagan AAdvantage Admirals Club, Flagship Lounge AA
British Airways   United Kingdom London - Gatwick, London - Heathrow, New York-JFK Executive Club Various BA
Cathay Pacific   Hong Kong Hong Kong, Taipei-Taoyuan Asia Miles/Marco Polo Club Various CX
Finnair   Finland Helsinki Finnair Plus Finnair Lounge AY
Iberia   Spain Madrid Iberia Plus Sala VIP IB
Japan Airlines   Japan Fukuoka, Nagoya, Naha, Osaka-Itami, Osaka - Kansai, Sapporo,

Tokyo - Haneda, Tokyo - Narita,

JAL Mileage Bank Sakura Lounge JL
Malaysia Airlines   Malaysia Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, Penang Enrich Golden Lounge MH
Qantas   Australia Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney. Qantas Frequent Flyer Qantas Club QF
Qatar Airways   Qatar Doha Privilege Club Premium Lounge QR
Royal Air Maroc   Morocco Casablanca, Marrakech, Tangier. Safar Flyer Casablanca Lounge AT
Royal Jordanian   Jordan Amman, Aqaba Royal Plus Crown Lounge RJ
S7 Airlines   Russia Irkutsk, Moscow - Domodedovo, Novosibirsk, Saint Petersburg, Vladivostok. S7 Priority S7 Business lounges (Moscow, Novosibirsk) S7
SriLankan Airlines   Sri Lanka Colombo FlySmiLes Serendib Lounge UL
Alaska Airlines*   United States Anchorage, Los Angeles, Portland (OR), San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose (CA), Seattle-Tacoma. Mileage Plan Alaska Lounge AS

*Plans to join the alliance in December of 2020.


Oneworld Connect Partners:

Airline Country Hubs Frequent Flyer Program Lounges IATA
Fiji Airways   Fiji Nadi, Suva Tabua Club Fiji Airways Premier Lounge FJ

SkyTeamEdit

SkyTeam is the latest alliance to be formed. It has a particularly strong network in Europe.

MembersEdit

Airline Country Hubs Frequent flyer
program
Lounges IATA
Aeroflot   Russia Moscow - Sheremetyevo Aeroflot Bonus SU
Aerolíneas Argentinas   Argentina Buenos Aires-Ezeiza, Buenos Aires-Jorge Newbury, Córdoba, Rosario Aerolíneas Plus Salón Cóndor AR
Aeroméxico   Mexico Guadalajara, Mexico City, Monterrey Club Premier Salón Premier AM
Air Europa   Spain Madrid - Barajas, Palma de Mallorca, Tenerife-North Flying Blue UX
Air France   France Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Paris-Orly, Toulouse Flying Blue Various AF
Alitalia   Italy Catania, Milan-Linate, Milan Malpensa, Palermo, Naples, Rome - Fiumicino MilleMiglia Club Freccia Alata AZ
China Airlines   Taiwan Hong Kong, Kaohsiung, Taipei-Taoyuan, Taipei - Songshan. Dynasty Flyer Dynasty Lounge CI
China Eastern Airlines   China Beijing Capital, Chengdu, Dalian, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Harbin, Hefei, Hong Kong, Kunming, Lanzhou, Nanchang, Nanjing, Ningbo, Qingdao, Shanghai-Hongqiao, Shanghai-Pudong, Taiyuan, Wuhan, Xi'an, Yantai. Eastern Miles MU
Czech Airlines   Czech Republic Prague OK Plus Crystal Lounge OK
Delta Air Lines   United States Atlanta, Boston, Cincinnati, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York-JFK, New York-LaGuardia, Raleigh/Durham, Salt Lake City, Seattle/Tacoma. SkyMiles Delta Sky Club DL
Garuda Indonesia   Indonesia Bali/Denpasar, Balikpapan, Jakarta - Soekarno Hatta, Makassar, Manado, Medan, Palembang, Surabaya, Yogyakarta GarudaMiles Garuda Indonesia Executive Lounge GA
Kenya Airways   Kenya Nairobi Flying Blue Simba Lounge KQ
KLM   Netherlands Amsterdam Flying Blue KLM Crown Lounge KL
Korean Air   South Korea Busan, Jeju, Seoul-Gimpo, Seoul-Incheon. SKYPASS Korean Air Lounge KE
Middle East Airlines   Lebanon Beirut Cedar Miles Cedar Lounge ME
Saudia   Saudi Arabia Dammam, Jeddah, Riyadh. Al-Fursan SV
TAROM   Romania Bucharest, Iași Flying Blue RO
Vietnam Airlines   Vietnam Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap Golden Lotus Plus Golden Lotus Lounge VN
Xiamen Airlines   China Changsha, Chongqing, Fuzhou, Hangzhou, Quanzhou, Shanghai-Hongqiao, Tianjin, Xiamen. Egret Card MF

Star AllianceEdit

Star Alliance is the world's largest airline alliance.

Cooperation includes seamless code share flights and baggage interlining and, as a new trend, an increased degree of co-location in airport terminals.

Members of any Star Alliance frequent traveler program (FT) can credit miles or points flown in many booking classes on any Star Alliance operated aircraft.

"Gold" Star Alliance FT members get an extra 20 kg or "piece" of baggage; reciprocal access to most Star Alliance members' lounges; priority boarding and priority wait listing.

MembersEdit

Airline Country Hubs Frequent flyer
program
Lounges IATA
Aegean Airlines   Greece Athens, Chania, Heraklion, Kalamata, Larnaca, Rhodes, Thessaloniki, Miles&Bonus Aegean Club Lounge A3
Air Canada   Canada Calgary, Halifax, Montréal-Trudeau, Ottawa, Toronto-Pearson, Vancouver Aeroplan Maple Leaf Lounge AC
Air China   China Beijing-Capital, Chengdu, Chongqing, Hangzhou, Hohhot, Shanghai-Pudong, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Wuhan Air China Companion/Phoenix Miles VIP Lounge CA
Air India   India Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Thiruvananthapuram. Flying Returns Maharaja Lounge AI
Air New Zealand   New Zealand Auckland, Christchurch, Sydney, Wellington. Airpoints Koru Club NZ
All Nippon Airways   Japan Fukuoka, Nagoya-Chubu, Okinawa-Naha, Osaka-Itami, Osaka-Kansai, Sapporo, Tokyo-Haneda, Tokyo-Narita, ANA Mileage Club Club ANA Lounge NH
Asiana Airlines   South Korea Busan, Jeju, Seoul-Gimpo, Seoul-Incheon Asiana Club Asiana Lounge OZ
Austrian Airlines   Austria Graz, Innsbruck, Salzburg, Vienna Miles & More Senator Lounge OS
Avianca   Colombia Bogotá, Cali, Guatemala City, Lima, Managua, Medellín, Miami, Quito, San José (CR), San Pedro Sula, San Salvador LifeMiles Avianca VIP Lounges AV
Brussels Airlines   Belgium Brussels Miles & More HON, Senator Lounge SN
Copa Airlines   Panama Bogotá, Panama City, San José (CR). ConnectMiles Copa Club CM
Croatia Airlines   Croatia Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar, Zagreb Miles & More Senator Lounge OU
Egypt Air   Egypt Alexandria, Cairo, Hurghada, Luxor, Sharm el-Sheikh. EgyptAir Plus EGYPTAIR MS
Ethiopian Airlines   Ethiopia Addis Ababa, Lomé ShebaMiles Cloud Nine and Sheba Miles Lounges ET
EVA Air   Taiwan Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Hong Kong, Kaohsiung, Taipei-Taoyuan, Taipei-Songshan Infinity MileageLands EVA Air Lounge BR
LOT Polish Airlines   Poland Budapest, Tallinn, Warsaw Miles & More Executive Lounge LO
Lufthansa   Germany Frankfurt, Munich Miles & More HON/Senator Lounge LH
SAS Scandinavian Airlines   Denmark,   Norway,   Sweden Bergen, Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Oslo, Stavanger, Stockholm, Tromsø. Eurobonus Scandinavian Lounge/Business Lounge SK
Shenzhen Airlines   China Beijing Capital, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Nanning, Quanzhou, Shenyang, Shenzhen, Wuxi, Xi'an, Yangzhou, Zhengzhou PhoenixMiles ZH
Singapore Airlines   Singapore Singapore KrisFlyer SilverKris Lounge SQ
South African Airways   South Africa Johannesburg-O.R. Tambo, Cape Town Voyager Cycad/Baobab Lounge SA
Swiss International   Switzerland Geneva, Zurich Miles & More Swiss Lounge LX
TAP Portugal   Portugal Madeira, Lisbon, Porto Victoria Top Executive Lounge TP
Thai Airways   Thailand Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Phuket Royal Orchid Plus Royal Lounges TG
Turkish Airlines   Turkey Ankara, Istanbul-New, Izmir Miles & Smiles THY CIP Lounge TK
United Airlines   United States Chicago-O'Hare, Denver, Guam, Houston-Bush, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco, and Washington-Dulles. Mileage Plus United Club, United Polaris Lounge UA

A few airlines are "connecting partners", offering limited perks on flights connecting to ones on other Star Alliance airlines, but without being full members of Star Alliance:

Airline Country Hubs Frequent Flyer Program Lounges IATA
Juneyao Airlines   China Shanghai-Hongqiao, and Shanghai-Pudong Juneyao Air Club Juneyao Airlines Lounges HO
Thai Smile   Thailand Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi and Chiang Mai Royal Orchid Plus WE

U-FLY AllianceEdit

U-FLY Alliance is the world's first alliance of low-cost carriers, focusing initially on China and Southeast Asia.

MembersEdit

Airline Country Hubs Frequent flyer
program
Lounges IATA
Eastar Jet   South Korea Jeju, Seoul-Gimpo, Seoul-Incheon ZE
HK Express   Hong Kong Hong Kong Asia Miles UO
Lucky Air   China Chengdu, Kunming Fortune Wings Club 8L
Urumqi Air   China Urumqi UQ
West Air   China Chongqing PN

Value AllianceEdit

Value Alliance is an alliance of low-cost Asia-Pacific carriers.

MembersEdit

Airline Country Hubs Frequent flyer
program
Lounges IATA
Cebugo   Philippines Lapu-Lapu/Cebu, Manila GetGo DG
Cebu Pacific   Philippines Boracay-Kalibo, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Iloilo, Lapu-Lapu/Cebu, Manila, Pampanga, Zamboanga GetGo 5J
Jeju Air   South Korea Jeju, Seoul-Gimpo, Seoul-Incheon Refresh Point 7C
Nok Air   Thailand Bangkok-Don Mueang, Chiang Mai, Ho Chi Minh City, Phuket, Yangon Nok Fan Club DD
Scoot   Singapore Singapore, Taipei-Taoyuan KrisFlyer TR

Vanilla AllianceEdit

Vanilla Alliance (French: Alliance Vanille) was created to improve air connectivity within the Indian Ocean region.

MembersEdit

Airline Country Hubs Frequent flyer
program
Lounges IATA
Air Austral   France Saint-Denis Capricorn UU
Air Madagascar   Madagascar Antananarivo Namako MD
Air Mauritius   Mauritius Port Louis Kestrelflyer MK
Air Seychelles   Seychelles Victoria Etihad Guest HM
Int'Air Îles   Comoros Anjouan I7

Rail-air alliancesEdit

In some countries (especially those with extensive high speed rail networks) there are also cooperation agreements between airlines and railway operators, offering trains as a code-shared "flight" or other benefits to travelers. For more on the topic see rail air alliances.

Frequent flyer programsEdit

Main article: Frequent flyer programmes

You should choose your Frequent Flyer airline in an alliance carefully. Although you may think it is intuitive to join the airline you fly most, you should be aware that privileges offered are often different and frequent flyer points may be more generous under a different airline in the same alliance.

By way of example, to reach Star Alliance Gold status (affording you priority wait listing and boarding, extra checked baggage allowance and use of lounges even when flying on any Star Alliance economy flight) requires only 20,000 miles in one year with Aegean Airlines' Miles&Bonus program, but some other member program require 50,000 or even 100,000 miles in a year to be flown before awarding Gold status.

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