The Oneworld Alliance which is one of many airline groupings throughout the world, is to add a 10th airline member to the group, but is not yet disclosing which one it is, in possible ploy to gain media suspense and keep competition up among a few hopeful applicants.
However, don’t hold your breath, with the recently added Malev Hungarian Airlines, now owned by a Russian billionaire businessman Boris Abramovich, which is undergoing major cost-cutting and laying off of staff. Low morale in Malev caused sabotages to be carried out against its aircraft, and it operates out of Budapest Airport where security police corruption is rife. Malev’s first CEO to come from the airline industry, Lloyd Paxton, was short-lived, departing in mysterious circumstances soon after his appointment by Abramovich.
Last year the One World Alliance was in a rush to add new members, adding Japan Airlines, Royal Jordanian in addition to Malev, with LAN Ecuador, LAN Argentina, Dragonair and five subsidiaries of Japan Airlines joined as affiliate airlines. This rush may be to ensure that the One World Alliance can claim to be the world’s largest airline alliance, based on number of airlines signed up.
Oneworld, formed in 1999, was the first airline alliance to establish a central management team. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, the Oneworld Management Company has a Managing Partner, reporting to the alliance board, which is made up of the Chief Executives of each of the member airlines.
Other members include British Airways, whose reputation has plummeted in recent years due to poor timing, baggage handling, and now a near crash of one of its aircraft in London, American Airlines, and the well-reputed airlines Qantas of Australia, Hong Kong based Cathay Pacific of China, Finnair of Finland and Iberia of Spain.
Airlines hoping to join the OneWorld Alliance currently include China Eastern Airlines, Grand China Airlines, Russia’s S7 Airlines (formerly Siberia Airlines) and Canada’s WestJet.