Qatar Airways has officially announced that it will join the Oneworld airline alliance after weeks of speculation.
The Doha-based carrier is the first of the three major airlines based in the Gulf (the others being Emirates and Etihad) to sign for any of the global airline alliances.
The implementation will take 12-18 months to complete and British Airways will serve as Qatar’s sponsor.
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 became a member in 2007.
Qatar Airways’ network serves 120 destinations in 70 countries in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, North and South America, Asia and Australasia.
Fifteen of its destinations and three countries – Iran, Rwanda and the Seychelles – will be new to Oneworld.
Once Qatar Airways’ implementation is complete, and of most interest to business travellers, frequent flyer card holders of other Oneworld airlines will be able to earn and
burn when flying with Qatar and access their lounges.