Qatar Airways to join oneworld alliance
QATAR AIRWAYS, which is rapidly expanding its route network in Africa, will become a full member of oneworld with effect from Wednesday, 30 October, 2013, adding one of the world’s fastest growing and most highly rated airlines to the global airline alliance. One of just seven carriers worldwide rated five-star by the Skytrax airline quality agency and the organisation’s Airline of the Year 2011 and 2012 and runner-up 2013, Qatar Airways is the only one of the “Gulf Big Three” carriers (Emirates, Etihad and Qatar) slated to join any of the global airline alliances.
It received clearance to board 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, announced at a press conference in the alliance’s New York home in October, 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 a year. From its first flights on Wednesday, 30 October, Qatar Airways will offer oneworld’s full range of services and benefits.
From then, the three million members of Qatar Airways’ Privilege Club loyalty programme will enjoy frequent flyer privileges whenever they fly with any oneworld member airline, which include leading brands from each global region – 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. This includes earning and redeeming Qmiles for awards and earning 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 tooneworld Sapphire and Privilege Club Silver will be oneworld Ruby.
From 30 October, Privilege Club Platinum and Gold members will be able to access 550 airport lounges worldwide offered byoneworld member airlines when they fly with one of the alliance’s carriers. Qatar Airways’ First and Business Class passengers will also be able to use oneworld partner airline lounges. Also from 30 October, the 130 million members of the established oneworld airlines’ frequent flyer programmes will be able to earn and redeem awards and tier status points and receive all other oneworld benefits on Qatar Airways.
Qatar Airways is already participating in Global Explorer, the round-the-world fare offered by all oneworld members and various airlines that are not part of the alliance. When it becomes part of oneworld, Qatar Airways’ network – serving 130 destinations in 70 countries across the Middle East, Europe, Africa, North and South America, Asia and Australasia – will be covered by the full and extensive range of oneworld fare and sales products.
More than 20 of its 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.
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.
- Carry 480 million passengers a year on a combined fleet of almost 3,500 aircraft.
- Generate US$140 billion annual revenues.