Swiss, the phoenix arisen from the ashes of Switzerland’s bankrupt flag carrier Swissair, announced Monday it is set to join British Airways’ frequent flier programme.
Swiss plans to merge its present Qualiflier scheme with that of BA, a move that could eventually lead to full membership of the Oneworld alliance led by BA and American Airlines.
Swiss already enjoys a close relationship with AA, including extensive codesharing and reciprocal frequent flier club membership. But BA has no apparent enthusiasm for a similarly close relationship.
Although is politically difficult for BA to exclude Swiss from the global alliance's periphery, the British airline is none too eager to admit it to full membership – not least, insiders say, because the two carriers compete for the same transatlantic business travellers.
Other members of the Oneworld consortium include Aer Lingus, Iberia, Cathay Pacific, Qantas, LanChile and Finnair.
Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff