US Airways will join the oneworld airline alliance in early 2014, providing a boost to Qantas travellers in stateside routes and lounge access as well as earning and burning opportunities for Qantas Frequent Flyer points.
“We plan to be fully transitioned to oneworld by the beginning of next year,” confirmed US Airways president J. Scott Kirby during an earnings call to media and analysts.
The move is an inevitable result of the merger between American Airlines and US Airways, with US Airways leaving the Star Alliance but taking the helm of the combined entity, which will operate as American Airlines.
Qatar Airways is also expected to join the oneworld family later this year, although an official date has yet to be announced.
Better US east coast connections for Qantas
With US Airways a major player at Washington's city-centre National airport (DCA), at Charlotte in North Carolina and in Philadelphia, the biggest improvement for Australians will be improved connections to and along the US east coast.
The airline's trans-Atlantic and South American network will also be a welcome addition to the options for Qantas Frequent Flyers when travelling further afield – mainly because of the excellent business class seat, which shares the same core design as that of Cathay Pacific.
US Airways actually introduced an off-the-shelf version of the seat before Cathay, since the Hong Kong airline took extra time to customise the basic design.