Aer Lingus (EI, Dublin Int'l) could rejoin Oneworld as soon as next year the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the IAG International Airlines Group, Willie Walsh, has announced.

The airline conglomerate, which also includes other Oneworld members British Airways and Iberia, acquired the Irish carrier for EUR1.3 billion in July of last year.

“The plan is Aer Lingus will rejoin the oneworld alliance and therefore will benefit from the arrangements that apply,” Walsh told Sky last week in an interview.

Aer Lingus was part of Oneworld between June 2000 and May 2006. It left ostensibly due to growing differences in its decision to pursue a more low-cost/point-to-point business model over the network strategies of its alliance partners at the time.

The divorce was said to have been amicable.