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Qatar Airways to join oneworld on 30-Oct-2013

10-Sep-2013 7:55 AM

Qatar Airways stated (09-Sep-2013) it would become a full member of oneworld with effect from 30-Oct-2013. Qatar Airways is the only one of the “Gulf Big Three” carriers slated to join any of the global airline alliances. It received clearance to join oneworld after successfully completing a thorough review of its readiness, conducted by British Airways, which is sponsoring Qatar Airways’ entry into the alliance, with oneworld’s central team. Qatar Airways completes its oneworld implementation programme just one year after receiving its invitation to join in Oct-2012. This will make its induction into oneworld one of the fastest in the alliance’s history.  Normally it takes around 18 months for any airline to be readied to enter any alliance. Qatar Airways’ addition to oneworld will come shortly before the airline moves into its new home base, Hamad International Airport, which has been designed to strengthen Doha’s position as a premium global hub, with an eventual capacity for 50 million passengers p/a. From then, the 3 million members of Qatar Airways’ Privilege Club loyalty programme will gain frequent flyer privileges when they fly with other oneworld member airlines. From 30-Oct-2013, Privilege Club Platinum and Gold members will be able to access 550 airport lounges worldwide offered by oneworld member airlines. More than 20 of its destinations and five countries – Ethiopia, Iran, Rwanda, Serbia and Tanzania – will be new to the oneworld map. Qatar Airways becomes the 13th full member of the oneworld, joining: airberlin, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines and some 30 affiliated airlines. The alliance is also pending the arrival of SriLankan Airlines next year and TAM is also set to join, as well as other members of the LATAM group not already in oneworld. In addition, US Airways proposes to switch from Star to oneworld as part of its planned merger with American Airlines, subject to necessary approvals. With Qatar Airways and the other airlines lining up to join, oneworld will serve almost a thousand airports in more than 150 countries, with 14,000 daily departures; handle 480 million passengers p/a on a combined fleet of almost 3,500 aircraft; and generate US140 billion annual revenues. [more - original PR] [more - original PR - II]