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As the Oneworld alliance marks its 20th anniversary, it’s announced a slew of improvements to the passenger experience, highlighted by soon-to-be-opened Oneworld-branded lounges.

At a press conference in London on Friday with executives from 13 of the member airlines in attendance, including Oneworld Connect member Fiji Airways, the alliance unveiled that it plans to open the first Oneworld airport lounge at some point in 2019.

“We’ve got a shortlist of airports around the world and in the middle of this year we will be announcing the first Oneworld lounge,” said Oneworld CEO Rob Gurney.

The alliance has yet to confirm which airport would get the first Oneworld lounge, but it plans to open a number of the branded lounges around the world. Oneworld elite members (Sapphire and Emerald) would be granted access to the lounges, as well as passengers flying in premium cabins with a member airline.

Competitors Star Alliance and SkyTeam both have their own versions of an alliance-branded lounge. Currently, Oneworld says that eligible passengers have access to 650 Oneworld member lounges across the world. The Oneworld-branded offering would be in addition to that.

At Friday’s press conference, Gurney also detailed that passengers traveling on a multi-member itinerary will be able to check-in, get a boarding pass, track baggage and receive flight updates for all segments on a single, preferred airline app beginning later this year. The functionality is already available for passengers traveling on a multi-segment itinerary with Qatar and Cathay Pacific. Later this year, passengers traveling with all Oneworld airlines will be able to do the same.

As announced in 2018, Royal Air Maroc is joining the alliance in 2020, and Fiji Airways will be a full Oneworld Connect member next month. With Royal Air Maroc’s network, Oneworld believes it’s poised to take on the growing Africa market.

Featured image by Anna Zvereva via Wikipedia.

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