Qatar to join alliance "within 12 months"

Qatar to join alliance "within 12 months"
By admin

Qatar Airways has been pursued by all three major airline alliances with the carrier set to join one of them within 12 months.

Chief executive Akbar Al Baker declined to expand on which alliance he favoured, but he confirmed for the first time that the airline would become a member of Star, Oneworld or Skyteam by this time next year.

However, with Qatar poised to ink a codeshare deal with Qantas and with Al Baker a known admirer of British Airways chief Willie Walsh, Oneworld could be the early favourite to sign up the Doha-based carrier.

Responding to a question from Travel Today, Al Baker said Qatar is already part of unofficial alliances.

“I always feel that all of us, all the airlines of the region, have some kind of partnership,” he said. “It could be codeshares, it could be SBA (Service by Air), it could be burning miles on each other. One way or other it leads to different levels of an alliance even though you don’t call it an alliance. For example, we are not part of Star but we are codesharing with several of their alliance partners.

“The only difference is when you get into an alliance you do it with a big chunk of people. But some way or other every airline uses each other to fly each other’s passengers.”

Becoming part of a formal alliance creates “added benefits for both sides”, he said.

“When you become part of an alliance you start sharing so many things that you have in common,” Al Baker said.


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