oneworld alliance next year. British Airways has 'sponsored' the airline, which is Russia's largest domestic airline and a large player on international routes, too. S7 recently switched to an all-Western built fleet (no more smoky Russian jets) and is quickly expanding. Willie Walsh, CEO of British Airways, released a boilerplate statement with the usual "S7 is a perfect fit for oneworld," etc., etc., but also said that "oneworld's priority is the quality rather than quantity of member airlines." That's probably a subtle dig at oneworld rival Star Alliance, which is at least twice as large in terms of number of airlines. But perhaps when it comes to Russia, Walsh needn't be worried. The S7 announcement leaves Star as the only alliance without a significant presence in Russia (Aeroflot is a member of SkyTeam).
And speaking of Star, Greek carrier Aegean Airlines will become a full member of the alliance next year.