Qatar Airways has announced it would join Oneworld, which is an international airlines alliance.
Its election as a Oneworld member designate was announced at a media briefing in New York – home of Oneworld's central alliance management office – with senior executives of Qatar Airways and the alliance's established member airlines in attendance.
Qatar Airways, named Airline of the Year for the past two years by the Skytrax independent airline quality rating agency, is the first of the three major airlines based in the Gulf to sign for any of the global airline alliances. It is also the second largest full service airline in the world not, until today, aligned to one of big global airline alliances.
The Doha-based airline's implementation into Oneworld is expected to take between 12 and 18 months. The carrier 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.
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 programme.
Qatar Airways will be Oneworld's second member airline based in the Middle East, alongside Royal Jordanian, which became the first airline from the region to join any of the global alliances when it boarded Oneworld in 2007.
In just 15 years of operations, Qatar Airways has built up a solid international route network flying to key business and leisure destinations worldwide – and winning countless awards for high service levels, including the Five Star accolade given by Skytrax.