Vueling rules out joining Oneworld under current conditions

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Vueling says it will not join an airline under current conditions of membership - despite its acquisition by IAG, which owns Oneworld members British Airways and Iberia.

"There are no airlines like us that are part of an alliance," says Alex Cruz, chief executive of the Barcelona-based low-cost carrier. "What does it mean, 'airlines like us'? It means an airline that wants to be consistently profitable, that is growing a significant amount, and that is very careful about the investment decisions that it makes."

Cruz notes that "to be a member of an alliance, you have to meet certain criteria, and you need to be prepared to deal with the other airlines on certain conditions" and says Vueling is "not ready to do that". He adds: "We need to make sure that we stick to the principles that have made us successful."

Questions on Vueling joining an alliance can only be considered as part of wider debate, says Cruz, who asks: "What are airline alliances doing to attract people like us?" In this respect, he cites as kindred spirits AirAsia, Norwegian, JetBlue and WestJet.

"Once the airline alliances realise that we can provide added value, and they consider the conditions that are required, we might join an alliance," he says.