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Qatar Airways joins oneworld

2013-11-04

Qatar Airways joined oneworld® today, adding one of the world’s fastest growing and most highly rated airlines to the world’s fastest growing and most highly rated global airline alliance. It is the second Middle Eastern member of oneworld, alongside Royal Jordanian Airlines that joined the alliance in 2007.

Under the patronage of the Prime Minister of Qatar His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani, a ceremony was hosted by Qatar Airways’ Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker and attended by the CEOs and senior executives from all other oneworld member airlines at Hamad International Airport at which Qatar Airways spectacularly “unveiled” the first aircraft in its fleet to be decorated in a special oneworld livery.

For Qatar Airways, joining oneworld marks the latest achievement in its 16-year history; it is the only one of the major Gulf carriers to join any of the global airline alliances next to twelve member airlines: Royal Jordanian, American Airlines, airberlin, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, S7 Airlines and some 30 affiliated airlines.

It joins oneworld just one year after receiving its invitation to join, which makes its induction into oneworld, which was conducted by British Airways, one of the fastest in the alliance’s history.

Qatar Airways’ addition to oneworld comes 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 a year and a cost of $15.5 billion. The new airport will also boost Qatar Airways’ competitiveness, creating new opportunities for the carrier for growth and expansion.

Royal Jordanian President/CEO Amer Hadidi said: “We are glad that Qatar Airways joined the oneworld alliance, alongside Royal Jordanian, which was the first Arab carrier to gain the trust of any of the three global airline alliances few years ago.  Currently, there are two route networks in the alliance that complement each other,  and serve the Middle East region.

“The cooperation between our two companies is not a novelty, since we both work together for the development of the air transport in the region under the umbrella of the Arab Air Carriers Organization.”

He added: “The award-winning Qatar Airways is a giant and well-regarded airline that has proved itself in a short course of time; its high-quality services, its young fleet, and robust and ever-growing route map will definitely boost the oneworld network.

Qatar Airways’ Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker said: “Alliances are playing an increasingly important role in the airline industry today – and that will continue long into the future.  Becoming a member of oneworld is one of the most significant landmarks in Qatar Airways’ history.  It will strengthen our competitive offering and give our customers what they fully deserve – more choice across a truly global network served together with airline partners who include some of the best and biggest in the world. 

“In Qatar Airways’ relatively short history, we have quickly established a reputation for innovation, quality and excellence in everything we do.  We are pleased to build on that by becoming the only major airline from the Gulf to join any of the global airline alliances – and we are proud to become part of what is clearly the world’s top quality airline alliance, oneworld.”

More than 20 of Qatar Airways destinations and five countries – Ethiopia, Iran, Rwanda, Serbia and Tanzania – will be new to the oneworld map. More significantly, Qatar Airways will substantially strengthen the alliance’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.

Worldwide, with the other airlines lining up to join, oneworld will:

  • Serve almost a thousand airports in more than 150 countries, with 14,000 daily departures.
  • Carry 475 million passengers a year on a combined fleet of some 3,300 aircraft.
  • Generate US$ 140 billion annual revenues.

The 3 million members of Qatar Airways’ Privilege Club loyalty programme will from midnight tonight enjoy the full range of oneworld frequent flyer benefits when travelling with any oneworld member airline worldwide – airberlin, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines and their 30 affiliated airlines.  

Privilege members will be able to earn and redeem Qmiles on any oneworld flight. In celebration of the airline’s addition to the alliance, they will receive double Qmiles award miles when flying on Qatar Airways’ oneworld partners between 15 November and 31 January (except between 20 December and 5 January).

Privilege Club members will also receive Qpoints for tier status when flying with all these airlines. Privilege Club Platinum cardholders will have Emerald status in the oneworld programme.  Privilege Club Gold will be equivalent to oneworld Sapphire and Privilege Club Silver will be oneworld Ruby.

Privilege Club Platinum and Gold members will be able to access more than 550 airport lounges worldwide offered by oneworld member airlines when they fly with one of the alliance’s carriers – five times more than they can use up until now. Qatar Airways’ First and Business Class passengers will also be able to use oneworld partner airline lounges.  As oneworld Emeralds, Privilege Club Platinum cardholders will be able to use First Class lounges, where available – and receive an additional baggage allowance and access fast tracks through departure security at select airports.

Also, the 140 million members of the established oneworld airlines’ frequent flyer programmes, including Royal Jordanian’s ‘Royal Plus’ members, will be able to earn and redeem awards and tier status points and receive all other oneworld benefits when flying on Qatar Airways.

To celebrate the addition of the new recruit to oneworld, members of established member airlines’ loyalty programmes will receive double the normal mileage awards when flying on Qatar Airways between 15 November and 31 January (except between 20 December and 5 January).

To encourage travellers to visit Qatar Airways’ home region, the alliance today launched its new oneworld Visit Middle East pass, offering attractive flexible fares on flights within the region bought in conjunction with a flight on a oneworld carrier to the region.  Besides flights on Qatar Airways it includes all other oneworld schedules within the region, including sectors on Royal Jordanian, British Airways and Cathay Pacific.  

These new fares will be available for sale from Friday (1 November) – when Qatar Airways’ global network will be covered by oneworld’s full, market-leading range of alliance fares and sales products.   

Qatar Airways, which serves more than 130 destinations in 70 countries across the Middle East, Europe, Africa, North and South America, Asia and Australasia, was established in 1997, and operates a young fleet of 130 Airbus and Boeing aircraft.  It makes oneworld the leading alliance in one of the world’s fastest growing regions for air travel demand.