The Wait Continues: Oneworld Alliance Yet to Announce First Standalone Lounge
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Despite expectations that Oneworld Alliance would announce its first standalone lounge at this year’s International Air Transport Association (IATA) Annual General Meeting, which took place this week in Seoul, South Korea, CEO Rob Gurney has yet to confirm any details.
In an interview with Australian Business Traveller, Gurney remained vague about progress: “We certainly will have concluded our first lounge this year, whether it will actually be opened and operational depends on the location, whether it’s a new build or whether it’s a modification of an existing build.”
In addition to a lack of opening date, the airline alliance has yet to say where the first lounge will be located. For now, it is looking at locations where individual airlines don’t have a huge presence, according to Gurney. “The idea is that we develop these where no single airline has a massive presence, but we have multiple airlines flying into the same airport, maybe with daily flight. So while collectivity we (as Oneworld) have a lot of flights, no single airline could justify the cost of the lounge.”
Gurney says he thinks there are between 15 and 30 such locations that could fit what the alliance is looking for around the world, though some of them are a long ways off, based on terminal development and construction. Meanwhile, competitors Star Alliance and SkyTeam have managed to open and operate numerous lounges worldwide.
At this rate, we might have to wait until the 2020 summit to find out more.
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