Qatar Airways will become a full member of oneworld® with effect from Wednesday 30th October 2013. This will add one of the world’s fastest growing and most highly rated airlines to the world’s leading quality 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 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.
The airline 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 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, 30th October, Qatar Airways will offer oneworld’s full range of services and benefits.
From then, the 3 million members of Qatar;s Privilege Club loyalty programme will enjoy frequent flyer privileges whenever they fly with any 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 alliance programme. Privilege Club Gold will be equivalent to oneworld Sapphire and Privilege Club Silver will be oneworld Ruby.
From 30th October, Privilege Club Platinum and Gold members will be able to access 550 airport lounges worldwide offered by member airlines when they fly with one of the alliance’s carriers. First and Business Class passengers will also be able to use partner airline lounges.
Also from 30th 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 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, their 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 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, The airline 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.
Its implementation, making it the leading alliance in the Middle East region, comes as the group undergoes the biggest expansion in its history with:
In addition, US Airways proposes to switch from Star 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:
Qatar’s Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said: “In our 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 date to be joining any of the global airline alliances. We are proud to entering the best of them, and to be doing so in record quick time. We very much look forward to flying alongside some of the best airlines in the world from 30 October, bringing the heightened benefits offered by oneworld to our customers.”
The alliance implementation programme has represented one of the most extensive projects in the airline’s 16-year history, with working groups covering some 20 streams of activity. Projects are nearing completion to bring its various internal processes and procedures into line with the alliance’s requirements, and extensive employee training and communications programmes are now underway at Qatar Airways and the alliance’s established members, to ensure they are ready to provide oneworld’s customer services and benefits across the expanded alliance from 30 October.