Qatar Airways to join Oneworld

Qatar Airways to join Oneworld
By admin

Qatar Airways will join the Oneworld Alliance, it has been confirmed.

The confirmation puts an end to months of speculation, which began when the Doha-based airline's chief executive Akbar Al Baker hinted to Travel Today in July it would join an alliance (Travel Today, July 4).

"Alliances are playing an increasingly important role in the airline industry today – and that will continue long into the future," Al Baker said at a press conference in New York.

"Qatar Airways has carefully reviewed its strategic options and it is very clear that joining Oneworld is by far the best way forward for us as we look to strengthen our competitive offering and give passengers what they fully deserve. More choice."

It is the first of the region's three major carriers to join a global alliance, and follows Royal Jordanian to become Oneworld's second member in the Middle East.

The implementation is expected to take between 12 and 18 months.

American Airlines chief executive and chairman of the Oneworld governing board, Tom Horton, said Qatar's reputation for quality made it a good fit for the alliance.

"Adding Qatar Airways will significantly improve our connectivity between many of the destinations that are most important to those customers, so today's agreement with Qatar Airways will enable us to offer even more value," he said.

The addition will take Oneworld's network to 856 destinations in 159 countries, served by a combined fleet of 2,600 aircraft carrying almost a million passengers each day.

The move comes as Dubai-based Emirates awaits approval of its tie-up with Qantas, and the ink dries on Etihad's codeshare deal with Air France-KLM.

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