Alaska to join oneworld and form new American alliance

Alaska Airlines and American Airlines expand their partnership, paving the way for new international routes from Seattle including the first nonstop service to connect to Bengaluru, India.

Alaska Airlines and American Airlines are joining forces to form a “West Coast international alliance”. The partnership includes international codesharing, reciprocal loyalty program benefits, American’s expansion out of Seattle, and ultimately Alaska’s entry into oneworld.

As part of the plans, American will launch the first service from Seattle to Bengaluru (Bangalore) in India beginning Oct. 2020. Flights will operate daily. The airline will also start daily service from Seattle to London Heathrow in March 2021.

In addition, Seattle-based Alaska and American will continue their domestic codeshare—which was scheduled to shrink in March 2020—and expand it to include international routes from Los Angeles and Seattle.

Alaska and American loyalty members will enjoy benefits across both airlines, including the ability to earn and use miles on both airlines’ full networks.

The partnership paves the way for Alaska to join the oneworld global airline alliance. Seattle-based Alaska hopes to become a member by summer 2021.

“Beginning West Coast international service from Seattle will complement American’s strong existing international network from LAX,” American’s senior vice president of network strategy Vasu Raja said.

“India is a grossly underserved market, despite the number of businesses with a major presence in both India and the West Coast.

“By adding Seattle to Bangalore, we’re giving customers from more than 70 U.S. cities access to India in one stop or less — versus the two, three or four stops they’d have to make to get there in the past.”

Alaska Airlines president Ben Minicucci said the partnership with American and entry into oneworld offers passengers “more choice, broader use of loyalty benefits, and seamless global service.”

“Additionally, international service to global business and tech hubs Heathrow and Bangalore is a tremendous win for the growing Seattle region and the West Coast,” Minicucci said.

Photo credit: Alaska Airlines

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