image via X by Danny Lee
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, oneworld, a global alliance comprising 13 member airlines, including Malaysia Airlines Bhd, unveiled its inaugural branded airport lounge at Incheon International Airport in Seoul on Saturday. Gerhard Girkinger, oneworld's Vice President of Customer Experience, Delivery, and Membership, expressed pride in introducing the first oneworld branded lounge experience, setting a new standard for global travel. The lounge, located airside after immigration and security checks at Terminal 1 of Incheon airport, spans 555 sq m and accommodates up to 148 customers in a modern setting.
The design, featuring the alliance's bold "Travel Bright" branding, pays homage to South Korean culture, incorporating elements like the Lantern Festival in glass art and the traditional "Gat" hat in a bar, blending traditional and contemporary aesthetics. The lounge operates daily between 7.30 am and 11.45 pm, catering to oneworld business- and first-class travelers and frequent flyers with oneworld's Emerald and Sapphire loyalty status.
At the opening ceremony, notable figures such as Malaysia Airlines CEO Datuk Captain Izham Ismail and Cathay Pacific Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Lavinia Lau Hoi-zee were in attendance. Girkinger hinted at plans to open a second oneworld airport lounge in the latter half of the year, although the location remains undisclosed.
The alliance, currently the smallest by number, plans to expand its footprint with the anticipated inclusion of Oman Air into the oneworld fold this year. This initiative aligns with oneworld's strategy to establish branded lounges where multiple member airlines converge, providing a unified travel experience for global passengers.