Naming and Corporate Identity

In 1997, Luxury Branding’s Founder Piers Schmidt received a call from Maurice Saatchi. The legendary advertising guru had been informed confidentially that British Airways was planning to form a global airline alliance with American Airlines.

Saatchi briefed Piers to develop a name for the proposed collaboration promptly, the first of its kind in the airline industry. Bob Ayling, the British Airways CEO, would be meeting shortly thereafter with his American counterpart and was keen to table a proposal proactively. A brainstorm was conducted and within one hour the team had generated more than one hundred options of which the unanimous favourite was the Oneworld brand name. Preliminary checks were made and an initial version of the logo was designed.

One year later, Oneworld was officially launched as five of the world’s leading airlines – American Airlines, British Airways, Canadian Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways and Qantas Airways – announced their new, customer-driven global alliance backed by a multi-million pound programme designed to raise the standard of global air travel. A wide range of initiatives provided greater customer benefits, including increased opportunities for rewards and recognition, smoother transfers and access to more airport lounges.

In 2014, Oneworld was named the World’s Leading Airline Alliance for the 12th year running in the World Travel Awards and today; it numbers 15 international airlines within its membership.


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