Alaska Airlines (AS, Seattle Tacoma Int'l) is on track to join the Oneworld alliance earlier than previously indicated, likely by the end of 2020, Chief Executive Brad Tilden said during an Aviation Week webinar.

Tilden underlined that amid weak demand in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the improved connectivity offered within an alliance could make the carrier more attractive.

"I think it's probably accelerated it a little bit. We were well on that path pre-COVID, but I do think that, especially with international, people are going to be looking to work with their partners through their alliance to satisfy the global demand that exists," Tilden said.

Alaska Airlines originally planned to complete its accession to the alliance by mid-2021.

Oneworld founding member American Airlines (AA, Dallas/Fort Worth) recently announced that it will focus on growing Seattle Tacoma Int'l, Alaska's largest base, as its transpacific hub.