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The Big 3

Updated: Sep 7, 2019

I was originally introduced to airline alliances as a way to maximize airline miles back in 2015. Originally constructed as an agreement between two airlines, has expanded into so much more. Three major alliances now exist, that shortens the connection between continents and bring easy access to the world.

Although it creates a loss of competition amongst airlines, the parks are far greater than the risk. There's a benefit to the airlines, such as reduced cost and an integrated booking system. Passengers are rewarded with lower fares and shorter waiting times. Airline miles are accumulated at a better efficiency and round the world (RTW) tickets are easier to book.

There are three major alliances: The Star Alliance, The Oneworld, and the Skyteam.

Air New Zealand: A Star Alliance member
Air New Zealand: A Star Alliance member

The Star Alliance started in 1997 by five airlines: Air Canada, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Thai Airways International and United Airlines. With the aim of efficiency and connecting every major city in the world, this alliance was the first in operation. The alliance now consists of 28 member airlines, 27 airlines, and 1 connection partner.

All Star Alliance Members:

Adria Airways

Aegean Airlines

Air Canada

Air China

Air India

Air New Zealand

All Nippon Airways

Asiana Airlines

Austrian Airlines


Brussels Airlines

Copa Airlines

Croatia Airlines


Ethiopian Airlines


JuneYao Airlines (Connection partner)

LOT Polish Airlines


Scandinavian Airlines

Shenzhen Airlines

Singapore Airlines

South African Airlines

Swiss International Airlines

TAP Portugal

Thai Airways

Turkish Airlines

United Airlines

American Airlines: Oneworld Partner
American Airlines: Oneworld Partner

Oneworld was created by American Airlines, British Airlines, and Quantas. This was the second alliance to be formed in 1999. They were quickly joined by Finnair and Iberia. The Oneworld targets more of a business clientele with strategic locations around the world.

Oneworld Members:

American Airlines

British Airways

Cathay Pacific



Japan Airlines


Malaysia Airlines



Royal Jordanian

S7 Airlines

SriLankan Airlines

Delta Airlines: Skyteam Partner
Delta Airlines: Skyteam Partner

Skyteam was created in 2000 by Aeromexico, Air France, Delta Airlines and Korean Air. Although being the youngest of the alliances, it has surpassed the Oneworld with the number of member airlines and its also my favorite alliance. (Yes, I’m a medallion member #medallionlife) I look forward to using their connections to plan an around the world trip.

Skyteam Members:


Aerolineas Argentinas



Air France


China Airlines

China Eastern

China Southern

Czech Airlines


Garuda Indonesia

Kenya Airways


Korean Air

Middle East Airlines



Vietnam Airlines

Xiamen Airlines

Editors Note: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any parties mentioned. None of the entities mentioned has reviewed, approved or endorsed the content listed in this post.


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