LONDON (AP) -- Five airlines including American Airlines and British Airways announced a global marketing, ticketing and frequent flyer alliance that will begin next week.

American Airlines, British Airways, Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific, Canadian Airlines and Australia's Qantas reported their "oneworld" alliance will offer linked frequent flyer programs, a frequent flyer card common to all five airlines, smoother transfers for passengers and a range of round-the world fares.British Airways chief executive Bob Ayling said oneworld will be able to offer "benefits of scale that we could not contemplate as individual airlines."

Finnair, which said it would join after the five announced the alliance Sept. 21, will introduce oneworld services later this year, the airlines said.

Alliances are becoming increasingly common in the international aviation industry where it is not feasible for even leading airlines to cover the entire globe single-handedly.

The creation of the alliance gives the airline industry a second big global linkup, rivaling the Star alliance which includes United Airlines, Germany's Lufthansa, Sweden's SAS, Air Canada, Brazil's Varig, Thai Airways and Singapore Airlines.

In October, Continental Airlines said it was discussing forming a new global marketing alliance with four other airlines, Northwest, KLM, Air France and Alitalia.