Five Oneworld airlines you probably haven't flown, but should...

By Chris C., November 25 2014
Five Oneworld airlines you probably haven't flown, but should...

Most Australian business travellers naturally belong to the 10 million-strong Qantas Frequent Flyer program and are already earning points on their Qantas flights both at home and abroad.

And as a member of the Oneworld airline alliance, Qantas has partners a'plenty including British Airways, Cathay Pacific, American Airlines and Malaysia Airlines, through which you can earn Qantas frequent flyer points and status credits while still enjoying perks such as lounge access and priority check-in.

But there are several other Oneworld airlines which are worth checking out for your next international trip.

Japan Airlines

You’ll find Japan Airlines zipping from Sydney to Tokyo’s Narita Airport every morning and back every evening, with onward connections available across Asia, including to cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, Taipei and Osaka.

JAL also flies non-stop from Tokyo Narita to Frankfurt, Helsinki, Moscow and Paris – giving Sydneysiders a one-stop journey to Europe via Japan – along with London Heathrow flights from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport.

Come December 1 2014, jetsetters can look forward to lie-flat beds in SkySuite business class on flights between home soil and Japan.

While Qantas also flies daily between Sydney and Tokyo in the evenings, JAL’s own Sydney flights are great for business travellers who prefer to work on-board during waking hours, sleep on the ground in Tokyo and then head to a meeting bright and early the next day.

Qantas Frequent Flyer members can earn 6,810 points and 120 status credits on a Tokyo round-trip with JAL in business class, plus a further 8,164 points and 160 status credits if that pointy end journey extends to Frankfurt.

Also read: Japan Airlines unveils new business class amenity kits

LAN Airlines

Qantas flies from Sydney to Santiago 3-4 times per week, yet LAN Airlines makes the trek every day. Stopping over in Auckland, Brisbane and Melbourne residents could jump across the pond with the Red Roo and connect onto LAN for an easy one-stop journey to Santiago.

LAN will upgrade this route to a Boeing 787 from April 2015.

The Chilean flag carrier’s Sydney-Auckland-Sydney flights can also be booked sans the South American soirée, giving corporate high flyers a 185cm fully-flat bed and a 15.4” entertainment screen on the three-hour journey to New Zealand.

LAN’s trans-Tasman flights are also rather cheap in business class – a steal at just $777 if you book at least 10 days in advance and the flight isn’t jam-packed, while still earning those all-important points and status credits.

You’d pick up 3,354 Qantas Points and 80 status credits up the front on an Auckland round-trip, 17,658 points and 160 status credits return between Sydney and Santiago, or 22,500 points and 320 status credits on that same flight if booked as a Qantas codeshare.

Read our review: LAN Airlines A340 business class, Sydney to Auckland

Qatar Airways

Qatar flies to both Melbourne and Perth in Australia from its hub at Doha’s new Hamad International Airport, with onward connections to 144 business and leisure destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, and North and South America.

While Qantas no longer sends its own aircraft to Frankfurt, you’ll be able to catch Qatar’s brand new Airbus A350 from Doha to Frankfurt – set to become the world’s first A350 passenger route in January 2015.

Or if you’re a fan of the Airbus A380, it runs daily between Doha and London Heathrow with two-metre fully-flat beds for business class flyers.

Photo tour: Qatar’s Airbus A380 first, business class

In need of a little tipple? The on-board Premium Lounge has what you’re looking for – which we’re told is styled to feel like a private "executive club".

Qantas Frequent Flyers would pocket 11,158 points and 160 status credits on a Melbourne-Doha return trip, plus 4,274 points and 120 status credits when extending the journey to Frankfurt or 4,890 points and 120 status credits to London.

Also read: Qatar opens new Al Mourjan Business Lounge in Doha


Germany's second largest airline after Lufthansa, Airberlin's main hubs are in Berlin and Dusseldorf.

And in addition to Qantas and Oneworld, Airberlin also has frequent flyer tie-ups with both Virgin Australia and Etihad Airways – so wherever you’re collecting points, booking flights with Airberlin definitely puts your next business trip in the ‘frequent flyer safe zone’.

Business class passengers, Velocity and Etihad Guest members with Gold status or higher can visit Airberlin’s ‘Exclusive Waiting Areas’ across Germany and Austria, although this perk isn’t available to Qantas members as the spaces aren’t Oneworld ‘lounges’.

Read our review: Airberlin 'Exclusive Waiting Area', Munich Airport

Airberlin also flies directly to Abu Dhabi, with business class passengers enjoy fully-flat beds with direct aisle access from every seat, plus Nespresso coffee for that much-needed morning boost.

Once your shot of caffeine has kicked in, both AC and USB power ports are at hand to keep phones, laptops and tablets fired up on the go before connecting onwards within both Germany and Europe.

On a round-trip in business class from Abu Dhabi to Berlin, you’d earn 7,240 Qantas Points and 200 status credits on an Airberlin AB flight number, or a higher 8,634 points with Velocity – yet no status credits unless booking on a VA codeshare.

Also read: Qantas and Virgin Australia: frequent flyers go for 'double gold'


While Finland’s national flag carrier doesn’t quite reach Australian shores, Aussie travellers wanting a Singapore stopover on their way to Europe could fly to Singapore with Qantas or British Airways, and then onwards to Helsinki and beyond with Oneworld member Finnair.

And Helsinki is one of the best gateways into northern Europe – the airport is efficient and transfers are fast and smooth.

Up the front between Singapore and Finland are less-than-desirable angled lie-flat beds – although Finnair is progressively upgrading its fleet to fully-flat, two-metre sleepers, which already appear on the airline’s Hong Kong and Tokyo flights.

Qantas also whacks its QF code on Finnair’s Singapore-Helsinki leg, allowing travellers to book a single ticket to Europe via the Qantas website without travelling via the Middle East.

That return codeshare serves up 14,418 Qantas Points and 160 status credits – plus what you’d earn between Australia and Singapore.

From its Helsinki hub, Finnair serves Europe’s major business and tourism centres such as London, Frankfurt, Geneva, Manchester, Paris, Rome and Zurich, which come with a further 2,600-3,400 points and 120 status credits on the final hop.

Also read: Finnair business class to boast Savoy, Nokka & GW Sundmans dishes

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Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 735

Ohhh, I'm not falling for the "dumb list challenges reader" clickbait varietal. This is where we're all supposed to say "ha ha, I've actually flown those non-obscure airlines" and congratulate ourselves, isn't it?

30 Aug 2013

Total posts 442

Great article. I was expecting this list to be airline that don't fly to Australia like S7, RJ, IB etc.


12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1515

"Qantas also whacks its QF code on Finnair’s Singapore-Helsinki leg, allowing travellers to book a single ticket to Europe via the Qantas website without travelling via the Middle East."

Why bother? QF biz about 8.5K  while booking directly with finnair it may cost you less than 6K. Are those few credits worth $2500?


19 Dec 2011

Total posts 49

One not to be ignored is sri lankan airlines. This is a very nice airline which has the potential to rival cathay & singapore airlines in quality. Already their service & food is superb & their economy seating good. With the arrival of their new a330-300 which has just gone into service with a business class seat to match cathay's they are really offering a very good product. They will soon have seven of these new planes for their long haul routes. It was a good decision for oneworld to give them membership.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Feb 2014

Total posts 445

Just don't fly with their CEO on board who apparently tells the aircraft to divert to Singapore whilst mid-air just because he wants to.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Nov 2011

Total posts 244

Then they better give extra Status Credits and air miles...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

27 Jun 2011

Total posts 37

Funny how SYD to SCL is 80 status credits in business oneway, but if you depart from AKL, that turns into 140 status credits oneway! I'd rather do a stopover

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Nov 2011

Total posts 244

I have a goal to try them all.

So far, 3 out of 5 ticked (AY, AB and LA)...

2 more to go... now need to find some leave.


14 Jun 2013

Total posts 353

I agree that Finnair is a good choice if you want to head to that corner of Europe, going via Helsinki beats Heathrow anyway!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Sep 2011

Total posts 181

Finnair were superb when I flew my elderly parents from UK to Thailand and were incredibly cheap for business class tickets.  JAL were also excellent the one time I flew them from SYD to NRT. Qatar are bound to be excellent as they are competing with EK and EY.  However, in my opinion, Oneworlds best secret is Royal Jordanian.  Flew the latest ex Mrs from BKK to HKG return in business for minimal cost and the service was superb.  Highly recommended.

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 1027

Of the current oneworld members, the only ones I haven't used at some point are UL, S7, LA and JJ.

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