Qatar Airways announced (08-Oct-2012) it has been elected as a oneworld member designate. The airline's implementation into oneworld is expected to take between 12 and 18 months. Qatar Airways will be oneworld's second member airline based in the Middle East, alongside Royal Jordanian, which joined the alliance in 2007, becoming the first airline from the region to join an alliance. Qatar Airways is the first of the three major airlines based in the Gulf to sign for any of the global airline alliances. It was also the second largest full service airline in the world not aligned to one of big global airline alliances. Fifteen of its destinations and three countries - Iran, Rwanda and the Seychelles - will be new to the oneworld destination map with the accession of the carrier to the alliance. Qatar Airways will also substantially strengthen oneworld's customer offering by providing superior routing alternatives across many hundreds of city pairs. Qatar Airways already codeshares with oneworld member designate Malaysia Airlines. It will develop bilateral links with more airlines in the alliance as it moves towards becoming a member of the group. Two established oneworld member airlines currently serve its Doha home - British Airways and Royal Jordanian - along with member elect SriLankan. Opportunities for increasing the alliance's services to Doha will be explored as Qatar Airways prepares to join. [more - original PR]
Qatar Airways: "Alliances are playing an increasingly important role in the airline industry today - and that will continue long into the future. 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," Akbar Al Baker, CEO. Source: Qatar Airways, 08-Oct-2012.
oneworld: "The big three Gulf carriers have been embraced by millions of consumers the world over - just as consumers have embraced global airline alliances. Our own analysis clearly demonstrated that Qatar Airways is the best fit for oneworld's network, requirements, philosophy and strategy," CEO Bruce Ashby. Source: oneworld, 08-Oct-2012.