With the changes to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program now putting greater emphasis on flying Qantas, perhaps a change is in the air when it comes to alliances. With just over a year having passed since the Emirates/Qantas partnership took to the air, is membership of OneWorld losing favour with Qantas? Is the Virgin model of a virtual network with partners rather than alliances the way of the future?

Much is often made of the fact Qantas was a founding partner of OneWorld many years ago. Many of our members feel this is good enough reason for such a break away to be unlikely, while others feel it offers little security for the future

Yes, QF were on one of the founding members of OW but the alliance itself has moved a long way from its founding principles (seemless experience across all carriers, include onboard services etc etc). OW always considered itself to be the alliance of Premium airlines “An alliance of the world’s leading airlines working as one.” An argument could be made that, over time, the quality of the carriers now in OW has diluted from that founding principle and as an airline which has aligned itself with EK, QF could argue that it can maintain it’s principles better outside of what OW has become.

As more carriers join the alliance, values do change, as does loyalty. After all, two of the recent additions are former Star Alliance members, overnight their members have left a world of familiar lounges and joined a new world that’s not so familiar. Like those new members, maybe change is necessary for economic reasons? Some of our members feel the value the One World membership brings to Qantas will make it hard for them to leave

Oneworld adds value to the QFF and encourages loyalty. I think a lot of people overestimate what the big alliances means to the business when an airline goes and forges a separate alliance outside of oneworld, star or sky team. At the end of the day an airline is going to work with whoever it thinks is best for its business.

At a time when OneWorld is expanding at a greater rate than ever, will it lose one of its members? It’s certainly clear the airline world changes at a rapid pace. And it’s true that much of the expansion of late has come from mergers of airlines that struggled to be successful in this new world. As Qantas struggles with its current woes, do you think it’s time for a change on the alliance front?

Do partners make more sense, join the conversation HERE.

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