International Airlines Group (IAG) CEO Willie Walsh said (25-Apr-2012) he would be "amazed" if one of the Gulf carriers does not join a global airline alliance in 2012. He noted "it would be a healthy development" and "we have certainly discussed Gulf airline membership in oneworld at great length".
IAG CEO 'amazed' if one of the Gulf carriers does not join alliance in 2012
You may also be interested in the following articles...
oneworld, in a complex solar system
oneworld is the smallest in size of the three global alliances but advertises itself as highest quality in terms of members and awards received. oneworld has strength in financial centres, is the alliance for the world’s largest airline (American) and with LATAM is a powerhouse in Latin America. It is also the loosest of the three major alliances, often described as more of a linked collection of bilateral partnerships.
British Airways-Qatar Airways form Europe's first Gulf airline JV, showing some oneworld flexibility
British Airways and Qatar Airways are to commence a revenue-sharing joint venture from 30-Oct-2016. Even before Qatar Airways took 20% of the equity of BA parent group IAG, the JV was expected – and perhaps due earlier. The agreement includes the UK, continental Europe, Asia, Middle East and Africa – essentially all regions but the Americas. Some specifics and regulatory matters are to be worked through, and Iberia is excluded but presumably will be added.
oneworld has always been a flexible congregation of bilateral relationships, but nowhere has this been better exemplified than with Qatar Airways' membership of oneworld and eg Qantas' deep partnership with Emirates. The BA-QR JV is the first between a European airline and a Gulf airline. Compared to AF-KLM and Lufthansa, BA/IAG have been more open towards Gulf airlines, a result of management but also pragmatism: BA's hub at London Heathrow is capacity constrained and BA typically carries a majority of O&D passengers.