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Learn more about airline carrier alliances and the advantages this accords a member of their service.

What is an airline alliance?

An airline alliance is an aviation industry agreement between two or more airlines to join forces to expand network and connectivity. Airline Global networks are constantly adjusting, in line with continuous global business opportunities in growing economies and with the increasing desire for leisure travel worldwide.

There are currently three main airlines alliances, which together represent 84% of total air schedule traffic worldwide. The largest, Star Alliance, was founded in 1997; One World, founded in 1999 and Sky Team, founded in 2000.


What are the benefits for passengers?

The biggest benefit of alliances is an extended network, often realised through codeshare agreements, (many alliances started as only codeshare networks).

Veloso Tours itineraries include a diverse combination of airlines and routes. For example, a customer can fly from the UK to Madrid with Iberia, then connect with Latam Airlines to Santiago and then return on the direct flight from Rio de Janeiro to the UK with British Airways. This is a good example of how clients benefit from a diverse itinerary, which is integrated into a single ticket, thanks to this airline integration, in this particular case, these three airlines are members of the oneworld alliance. Furthermore, customers can earn air miles of the flights flown, when they are a member of a loyalty scheme.


We at Veloso Tours are keen for our customers to benefit from all these advantages, and so, we always evaluate the best itineraries and benefits for each itinerary we bespoke, so that our customer can enjoy the maximum benefits of these global alliances.

Other benefits include: 

  •          More departure times to choose from on a given route.
  •          More destinations within easy reach.
  •          Shorter travel times as a result of optimised transfers.
  •          A wider range of airport lounges with alliance members
  •          Fast track access to all alliance members if having frequent flyer status
  •          Faster mileage rewards by earning miles for a single account on several different carriers.
  •          Lower prices due to operational costs reductions (sales offices, operational facilities, e.g. computer systems.)
  •          Round-the-world tickets, enabling travellers to fly over the world for a relatively competitive price.

Here the main feature of these three alliances:

  • Star Alliance
  • One World Alliance
  • Sky Team Alliance

Star Alliance

Five airlines founded Star Alliance, back in 1997. Today, it is the largest of the three global alliances, with 28 member airlines that come together to offer connectivity across their combined global network.

London Heathrow Terminal 2, The Queens Terminal, is fully designated for Star Alliance carrier. Under this terminal 24 member airlines operate, allowing nonstop routes to over 40 destinations around the world. At the terminal airlines are grouped in zones to simplify passenger way-finding.

First Class and Business Class passengers can take advantage of a dedicated Fast Track security lane. Star Alliance Gold Status holders, regardless of their travel class of service, are entitled to use Fast Track through security upon presentation of their status card. This is the Gold Track loyalty benefit. There are 4-star alliance airline lounges at Heathrow Terminal 2. Worldwide more than 1000 Star Alliance airport lounges are available.

The Star Alliance network extends a number of destinations in 98% of the world’s countries. The current network includes 198 countries, 1300 airports and over 18000 daily departures. Please click here for Star Alliance Route Map.

Star Alliance Airlines  (28):

  1. Adria
  2. Aegean
  3. Air Canada
  4. Air China
  5. Air India
  6. Air New Zealand
  7. Ana
  8. Asiana Airlines
  9. Austrian
  10. Avianca
  11. Avianca Brazil
  12. Brussels Airlines
  13. Copa Airlines
  14. Croatia Airlines
  15. Egyptair
  16. Ethiopian
  17. Eva Air
  18. LOT Polish Airlines
  19. Lufthansa
  20. Scandinavian Airlines
  21. Shenzhen Airlines
  22. Singapore Airlines
  23. South African Airways
  24. Swiss
  25. TAP Air Portugal
  26. Thai
  27. Turkish Airlines
  28. United

One World Alliance

Oneworld was founded in 1999. Today, it is the third largest of the three global alliances, with 14 member airlines that come together to offer connectivity across their combined global network.

London Heathrow Terminal 3, is currently designated for One World Alliance carriers and affiliates airlines.

London Heathrow Terminal 5, British Airways, member of Oneworld, and also operates exclusively from T5. 

First Class, Business Class passengers and top-tier frequent flyers of the Oneworld airlines can take advantage of a dedicated Fast Track security lane. This is available for British Airways, Iberia, American Airlines, Latam Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Qantas Airlines passengers. There are 11 One World alliance airline lounges at Heathrow Airport (terms and conditions apply for access). Worldwide more than 650 One World Airport lounges are available.

Oneworld alliance network extends a number of destinations in 150 countries, 1000 airports and over 14000 daily departures. Please click here for One World Alliance Route Map.

Oneworld Member Airlines (14):

  1. Airberlin
  2. American Airlines
  3. British Airways
  4. Cathay Pacific
  5. Finnair
  6. Iberia
  7. Japan Airlines
  8. Latam Airlines
  9. Malaysia Airlines
  10. Qantas
  11. Qatar Airways
  12. Royal Jordanian
  13. S7 Airlines
  14. Sri Lankan Airlines

Sky Team Alliance

Sky Team was funded in 2000. Today, it is the second largest of the three global alliances, with 20 member airlines that come together to offer connectivity across their combined global network.

London Heathrow Terminal 4, it the SkyTeam London terminal.

SkyTeam member airlines work together to build the alliance’s presence at London Heathrow’s Terminal 4, and opened a joint facility and a two-floor SkyTeam Exclusive Lounge in 2009.  Worldwide more than 629 SkyTeam airport lounges available.

Sky Team network extents a number of destinations in 177 countries, 1074 airports and over 16500 daily departures. Please click here for SkyTeam Alliance Route Map.

Sky Team Airlines (20): 

  1. Aeroflot
  2. Aerolineas Argentinas
  3. AeroMexico
  4. Air Europa
  5. Air France
  6. Alitalia
  7. China Airlines
  8. China Eastern
  9. China Southern
  10. Czech Airlines
  11. Delta
  12. Garuda Indonesia
  13. Kenya Airways
  14. KLM
  15. Korean Air
  16. Mea
  17. Saudia
  18. Tarom
  19. Vietnam Airlines
  20. Xiamen Air



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