US Airways will join the oneworld alliance on March 31, 2014, as a result of the December 9 completion of its merger with alliance founding member American Airlines.
All of US Airways’ regional-airline affiliates, operating under the US Airways Express brand, will also transition to oneworld at the same time.
Their entry into oneworld with effect from the first flights on March 31 will follow immediately upon their exit from the Star Alliance with the final flights on March 30.
Until the full integration of American Airlines and US Airways – which will see the combined airline retaining the American Airlines name – US Airways and its regional carriers will operate as oneworld affiliate members, under the American umbrella.
They will offer oneworld’s full range of services and benefits – although some may be phased in shortly after US Airways joins. US Airways, American and their oneworld partners are working to provide the most popular benefits and services on an accelerated timeline.
During the transition period, American and US Airways will maintain their current loyalty programs as they work towards their full integration.
US Airways underlines that all its Dividend Miles cardholders will maintain all miles earned and their tier status. Dividend Miles Preferred members will be sent new membership cards with the oneworld logo, for use from March 31.
Dividend Miles Chairman cardholders will have the top Emerald status in the oneworld program. Dividend Miles Platinum and Gold will be equivalent to oneworld Sapphire and Dividend Miles Silver will be equivalent to oneworld Ruby.
From March 31, Dividend Miles Chairman, Platinum and Gold members will be able to access some 600 airport lounges worldwide offered by oneworld member airlines when they fly with one of the alliance’s carriers.
As oneworld Emeralds, Dividend Miles Chairman cardholders will be able to use First Class lounges, where available – and receive an additional baggage allowance and access fast tracks through departure security at select airports.
All Dividend Miles members will be able to earn mileage and status points when flying on any oneworld member airline from March 31, but the ability to redeem mileage rewards for flights on other oneworld airlines may be phased in shortly afterwards, according to the alliance.
The 140 million members of established oneworld airlines’ frequent flyer programs will also receive alliance services and benefits when flying on US Airways from March 31.
From the start, this will include the ability to earn mileage and tier status points and, for Emerald and Sapphire cardholders, to access US Airways’ lounges when flying on oneworld departures, although the ability to redeem rewards for flights on US Airways may be phased in shortly afterwards.
When it becomes part of the group, US Airways’ network will immediately be covered by oneworld’s range of alliance fares.
On its own, US Airways is the fifth-largest airline in the United States and one of the 30 largest carriers in the world. With its regional affiliates, it serves more than 200 destinations and 30 countries with a fleet of more than 625 aircraft. It carried 82.5 million passengers in 2012 and currently operates 3,200 departures a day.
It will add 60 destinations to the oneworld map – most in the United States but also three in Canada and one in Mexico – along with its key hubs at Charlotte, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Washington Reagan National Airport.
According to oneworld, this will expanding the alliance’s presence across the U.S., particularly on routes throughout the East Coast and across the North Atlantic.
US Airways’ merger with American Airlines creates the world’s largest airline by most measures and gives oneworld a leading alliance position in the U.S., the world’s largest air travel market. The new American will offer service to more than 330 destinations in more than 50 countries, carrying 190 million passengers a year on a fleet of 1,500 aircraft.
The addition of US Airways represents the latest step in oneworld’s biggest membership expansion yet. Other elements elsewhere in the world include:
● Malaysia Airlines’ induction into the alliance on February 1, further strengthening oneworld’s position in South East Asia, one of the fastest growing regions for air travel demand;
● The induction on October 1, 2013 of LAN Colombia, the second-largest airline in South America’s second-biggest economy and the final member of the LAN Airlines group to join oneworld;
● Qatar Airways’ induction on October 30, 2013, Qatar being one of the fastest growing and most highly rated airlines in the world and the only one of the “big three” Gulf carriers to join any global alliance. In induction makes oneworld the leading alliance in the Middle East, according to oneworld;
● The forthcoming transition to oneworld by TAM, the leading airline in Latin America’s leading economy, Brazil, with its Paraguayan affiliate to be added soon afterwards. This will complete the consolidation in oneworld of all the passenger carriers in LATAM Airlines Group, South America’s largest airline group; and
● SriLankan Airlines’ induction early next year as the first airline from the Indian subcontinent to join any global alliance. Along with Qatar Airways’ induction, this will make oneworld the leading alliance in the Western Asia region, according to oneworld.
With the addition of these airlines, the oneworld network will expand to almost 1,000 destinations in more than 150 countries.
Oneworld members serve this network with 14,250 daily departures ‒ equivalent to a oneworld flight taking off or landing every three seconds around the clock – which carried 475 million passengers last year and generate annual revenues of US$ 140 billion.