Qatar Airways is to join the oneworld airline – despite earlier denials by its CEO Akbar Al Baker – becoming the second member airline based in the Middle East, alongside Royal Jordanian. The Doha-based carrier’s full integration into the alliance is expected to take between 12 and 18 months. British Airways will serve as its sponsor, supported by the central oneworld alliance team.
The airline will increase oneworld’s global coverage to 856 destinations in 159 countries, served by a combined fleet of 2,600 aircraft operating more than 9,300 flights and carrying almost a million passengers every day (342 million per year) – generating annual revenues of nearly $120 billion.
Meanwhile Malaysia Air Lines has announced that it will join oneworld from February 1, 2013.
On October 29 the airline issued a statement saying that it had received clearance to join oneworld after successfully completing a thorough review of its readiness conducted by Qantas, which is sponsoring its entry into the alliance, with the oneworld central team. Though the airline says its alliance implementation programme is on track for completion in the coming weeks, its addition to oneworld is being held until the beginning of 2013, “to avoid the end-of-year holiday season and for other administrative reasons”.