The Canadian regional discount carrier WestJet has been talking about joining the oneworld alliance. Currently there is no Canadian airline with a oneworld partnership, since Canadian Airlines International lost that partnership when it was swallowed up by Air Canada, which belongs to the Star Alliance.
While these talks are valuable to WestJet, the airline has a long way to go before gaining full membership if that is its plan. WestJet currently does not have a reservations system that would allow integration of benefits and transfers for other oneworld partners’ passengers — a necessity if the partnership is to succeed.
Also missing is one of the key requirements: a frequent flyer program that has defined benefits and mileage “currency.” Chances are American and British Airways — both oneworld members with flights into Canada — wouldn’t mind selling miles to WestJet for their passengers, but that can get kind of expensive over time. One strategy warning: Aer Lingus!