Qatar Airways to Join Oneworld Alliance

Qatar Airways Jet on Take-Off

Qatar Airways – Known for Five Star Service – Jet on Take-Off

Qatar Airways elected oneworld member designate

As Emirates partners up with Qantas, andEtihad Airwaysspeculates to join SkyTeam, it was only naturalQatar Airwayswould partner with an Alliance.

In an official announcement, Qatar Airways was elected as a oneworld member designate at a press conference in New York, home of oneworld’s central alliance office. Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer, Akbar Al Baker, along with American Airlines President and Chief Executive Officer, Tom Horton, Chairman of the oneworld Governing Board and Chief Executive IAG, Willie Walsh, and oneworld CEO, Bruce Ashby, met in New York to make this rumored announcement public.

The Doha based carrier is known for their five star service and has been named “Airline of the Year” by the Skytrax independent airline quality rating agency and is the first of the three major airlines based in the Gulf to sign for any of the global airline alliances.

Qatar Airways is set to move into a brand new home in 2013 with the opening of the New Doha International Airport, designed to strengthen its position as a premium global hub with an eventual capacity for 50 million passengers a year. The airline operates from major cities in the United States and Europe providing seamless connections at its Doha (DOH) Hub onwards to The Middle East, Russia, Asia, and Australia, as well as popular Indian Ocean island destinations such as the Seychelles and The Maldives.

As a member of oneworld, Qatar Airways will fly alongside some of the biggest and best brands in the airline business. British Airways will serve as its sponsor in joining oneworld, supported by the central oneworld alliance team, mentoring the recruit through its alliance implementation program.

Qatar Airways’ Route Network and Destinations

Qatar Airways’ network serves 120 destinations in 70 countries in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, North and South America, Asia and Australasia, including oneworld hubs Amman (AMM), Berlin Tegel (TXL), Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE), Hong Kong (HKG), London Heathrow (LHR), Madrid (MAD), Melbourne (MEL), Moscow Domodedovo (DME), New York Kennedy (JFK), Osaka Kansai (KIX), Sydney (SYD), Tokyo Narita (NRT), and the Kuala Lumpur (KUL) home of oneworld member elect Malaysia Airlines.

Fifteen new destinations and three counties will be new to oneworld’s route map, Iran, Rwanda, and the Seychelles. More significantly, Qatar Airways will substantially strengthen oneworld’s customer offering by providing superior routing alternatives across many hundreds of city pairs. For example, passengers flying between Asia and Southern Europe or between Asia and Africa will now have convenient one-stop connections not previously available within the oneworld network.

Two established oneworld member airlines currently serve its Doha home – British Airways from its London hub, and Royal Jordanian from its Amman base – along with member elect SriLankan, from its Colombo hub. Opportunities for increasing the alliance’s services to Doha will be explored as Qatar Airways prepares to join.

When Qatar Airways becomes part of oneworld, its customers will gain access to the alliance’s truly global network. The 2.2 million members of its Privilege Club frequent flyer programme will be able to earn and redeem rewards on any of oneworld’s other carriers, with top tier members able to use any of the group’s 550 plus airport lounges, and its network will be covered by oneworld’s market leading range of alliance fares.

Comments from New York Press Conference

Oneworld Press Conference - New York, NY

Press Conference – Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker with oneworld airline executives

Qatar Airways, CEO, Akbar Al Baker, said, “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 and give passengers what they fully deserve – more choice. LikeQatar Airways, oneworld is focused on quality and providing the best connections between the places most important to today’s frequent international travellers.”

Baker continued, “In Qatar Airways’ relatively short history, we have quickly established a reputation for innovation, quality and excellence in everything we do, raising standards which our industry peers have watched with envy. We are pleased to build on that by becoming the only major airline from the Gulf to date to be invited to join any of the global airline alliances – and we are proud to have been invited to join the best of them, in oneworld. We look forward to completing all the joining requirements as soon as possible, and to fly alongside some of the best airlines in the world long into the future, bringing heightened benefits offered by oneworld to our customers.”

American Airlines’ Chairman and Chief Executive, Tom Horton, Chairman of the oneworld Governing Board, said, “Quality has always been the hallmark of oneworld, so we are pleased to welcome to our alliance another of the world’s highest quality airlines. oneworld aims to be the first choice alliance for frequent international travelers the world over. AddingQatar Airwayswill 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.”

Willie Walsh, Chief Executive of IAG, parent of British Airways and Iberia, said, “In Qatar Airways, oneworld is pleased to welcome another great airline that will enhance oneworld’s network and product offerings in one of the world’s fastest growing regions for air travel demand. Its fine reputation for customer service mirrors oneworld’s own focus. British Airways is delighted to be serving as the sponsor ofQatar Airwaysin joining oneworld.”

Finally, oneworld CEO, Brush Ashby, said, “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 thatQatar Airwaysis the best fit for oneworld’s network, requirements, philosophy and strategy. oneworld is delighted to be the first of the global alliances to welcome a member airline from this region, enabling us to be the first to offer consumers the services and benefits offered by both a global alliance and a Gulf carrier. We look forward to welcoming another great airline to oneworld.”

Ashby added, “oneworld’s flexible approach to bilateral cooperation with carriers outside our alliance means that links already established between our member airlines with other carriers from this region may continue in tandem with Qatar Airways’ addition to oneworld, further strengthening the choice and convenience we collectively offer our customers.”

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