By Nahrain John @karryontravel04 Jun 2018Fiji Airways has joined the oneworld fold, NOT as a full member – like Qantas and American Airlines – but as the alliance’s first sponsored ‘connect partner’.What exactly is a connect partner? Great question readers!As a oneworld connect partner, Fiji Airways is not a complete member of the alliance, however, travellers will be able to add the airline’s flights to their Global Explorer or round-the-world fare.In addition to being able to fly to and from Fiji with the national carrier, there’ll also be select benefits to frequent flyers from any oneworld member airline travelling on their flights.For example, Emerald, Sapphire or Ruby status in any oneworld member airline’s frequent flyer programme will have access to Fiji Airways’ priority check-in desks, while those with Emerald or Sapphire status will receive priority boarding.Other benefits available include the ability to earn and redeem frequent flyers rewards and access select lounges at key airports for First or Business Class travellers.In order to become a ‘oneworld connect partner’ Fiji Airways needed a minimum of three sponsors, which came from Qantas, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific and British Airways. The airline will also have to undergo mentoring throughout its oneworld connect implementation process from Australia’s Flying Kangaroo.Additionally, Fiji Airways is required to maintain IATA IOSA safety certification.oneworld Governing Board Chairman, Pekka Vauramo from Finnair, said the ‘oneworld connect’ status enables the alliance to “bring together more airlines” and offer customers more rewards.The alliance group’s Chief Executive, Rob Gurney, concurred, saying that it enables the alliance to “link up other airlines whose networks are relevant to a subset of our members” but can’t meet the full membership requirements.“This enables us and them to offer our customers more services and benefits across an even wider network and strengthen our relationship going forward, with a streamlined and rapid path to full membership later on where it makes sense for all parties,” he said. READ: Fiji Airways Economy Class Review, Sydney to NadiREAD: Qantas Points valid for all oneworld airlinesREAD: Key enhancements to oneworld events unveiledWhat are your thoughts on the news? Other stories you may likeRELAX, HYDRATE & FLY: Qantas opens a spacious, three-level lounge in BrisbaneLET’S GO SKI SAPPORO!: Qantas launches direct flights bookable from todaySTARS & STRIPES: The All America Fare is back with an EPIC agent incentive!