Qatar Airways joins oneworld

Thursday, 31 October 2013 00:35 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  •  World’s premier alliance adds one of the world’s most admired and fastest growing airlines
  • Only one of the major Gulf carriers to join a global  airline alliance
  • Positions oneworld as leading alliance in one of world’s fastest growing regions for air travel
  • Qatar Airways 777 in oneworld livery is first aircraft to ‘land’ at Doha’s new Hamad Airport
  • Qatar’s Prime Minister joins VIPs from around the world at joining ceremony at new hub
  • Latest landmark in oneworld’s biggest yet membership expansion drive
Qatar Airways became part of oneworld yesterday, adding one of the world’s fastest growing and most highly rated airlines to the world’s fastest growing and most highly rated global airline alliance. Qatar Airways joins oneworld just one year after receiving its invitation to join, which makes its induction into oneworld one of the fastest in the alliance’s history.  A more typical timeline for an airline to comply with the many membership requirements of oneworld is 18-24 months.     Latest achievement For Qatar Airways, joining oneworld marks the latest achievement in its 16-year history. 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 major Gulf carriers to join any of the global airline alliances. Becoming part of oneworld, which holds more “best alliance” awards than any of its competitors, will strengthen Qatar Airways’ competitiveness, enabling it to offer customers an unrivalled alliance global network served by partners that include leading airlines from every region.     Superior routing alternatives Qatar Airways, which serves more than 130 destinations in 70 countries across the Middle East, Europe, Africa, North and South America, Asia and Australasia, is oneworld’s second member airline based in the Middle East. It makes oneworld the leading alliance in one of the world’s fastest growing regions for air travel demand. 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.     150 countries served Worldwide, with 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 475 million passengers a year on a combined fleet of some 3,300 aircraft and generate $ 140 billion annual revenues, Qatar Airways 777 in oneworld livery is first aircraft to ‘land’ at Hamad International Airport At a ceremony to mark its entry into oneworld, held at Hamad International Airport, which will open soon as Qatar Airways’ new home base, Qatar Airways spectacularly “unveiled” the first aircraft in its fleet to be decorated in a special oneworld livery; with the Boeing 777-300 becoming the first aircraft to “land” at the new airport. The state-of-the-art $ 15.5 billion Hamad International Airport is designed to strengthen Doha’s role as a premium global hub. The new airport has an eventual capacity for 50 million passengers a year.   New livery As they assembled, the 777-300 in its oneworld livery flew overhead before landing and becoming the first aircraft to taxi onto a stand in front of Hamad International Airport’s terminal building. Its distinctive design features “oneworld” in blue letters some 6 feet (2 metres) high along a white fuselage and the airline’s standard tailfin, serving as a huge flying billboard highlighting that Qatar Airways is now offering the full range of oneworld services and benefits.  The airline will decorate three other aircraft in its fleet in this special livery – another 777 and two Airbus A320s. They will spearhead a massive marketing drive to promote the airline’s addition to the alliance.  Starting tonight, oneworld logos will be applied by the side passenger entrance doors on Qatar Airway’s entire fleet of 130 aircraft as part of a massive rebranding program that will also see the alliance logo added virtually wherever the Qatar Airways name is displayed at airport check-in desks and signage, on its website, tickets, boarding passes and all items of stationery. Qatar Airways’ addition to oneworld tonight will be promoted with of one of the biggest marketing campaigns in the airline’s history, too, with an extensive advertising campaign to highlight the new alliance services and benefits available to its customers. All cardholders in its Privilege Club frequent flyer program are being sent new membership cards, bearing the oneworld logo and “gemstone” tier indicator, to ensure they receive their alliance benefits from tomorrow when travelling throughout the entire oneworld global network.     Double miles’ offer The 3 million members of Qatar Airways’ Privilege Club loyalty programme will from midnight tonight enjoy the full range of oneworld frequent flyer benefits when travelling with any oneworld member airline worldwide; airberlin, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines and their 30 affiliated airlines. Privilege members will be able to earn and redeem Qmiles on any oneworld flight. In celebration of the airline’s addition to the alliance, they will receive double Qmiles award miles when flying on Qatar Airways’ oneworld partners between 15 November and 31 January (except between 20 December and 5 January). Privilege Club members will also receive Qpoints for tier status when flying with all these airlines. Privilege Club Platinum cardholders will have Emerald status in the oneworld program.  Privilege Club Gold will be equivalent to oneworld Sapphire and Privilege Club Silver will be oneworld Ruby.     Access to 550 lounges From midnight tonight, Privilege Club Platinum and Gold members will be able to access more than 550 airport lounges worldwide offered by oneworld member airlines when they fly with one of the alliance’s carriers; five times more than they can use up until now. Qatar Airways’ First and Business Class passengers will also be able to use oneworld partner airline lounges. As oneworld Emeralds, Privilege Club Platinum cardholders will be able to use First Class lounges, where available, and receive an additional baggage allowance and access fast tracks through departure security at select airports. Also from midnight, the 140 million members of the established oneworld airlines’ frequent flyer programs will be able to earn and redeem awards and tier status points and receive all other oneworld benefits when flying on Qatar Airways. To celebrate the addition of the new recruit to oneworld, members of established member airlines’ loyalty programs will receive double the normal mileage awards when flying on Qatar Airways between 15 November and 31 January (except between 20 December and 5 January). Qatar Airways Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker said: “Alliances are playing an increasingly important role in the airline industry today and that will continue long into the future.  Becoming a member of oneworld is one of the most significant landmarks in Qatar Airways’ history. It will strengthen our competitive offering and give our customers what they fully deserve, more choice across a truly global network served together with airline partners who include some of the best and biggest in the world. “In Qatar Airways’ 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 join any of the global airline alliances – and we are proud to become part of what is clearly the world’s top quality airline alliance, oneworld.” IAG Chief Executive Willie Walsh added: “In Qatar Airways, oneworld is pleased to welcome another great airline that enhances the alliance’s network and product offerings in one of the world’s fastest growing regions for air travel demand. Qatar Airways’ excellent reputation for customer service mirrors oneworld’s own focus. British Airways is delighted to have supported Qatar Airways throughout its oneworld joining process and we wish it, its customers and employees a warm welcome on board.” oneworld Chief Executive Bruce Ashby stated: “oneworld aims to be the first choice alliance for the world’s frequent international travellers, with an unrivalled collection of quality carriers, delivering unmatched benefits to customers and to member airlines alike. Qatar Airways’ addition as our second member airline in the Middle East makes oneworld the leading alliance in what is one of the world’s fastest growing regions for air travel demand. “oneworld is delighted to be the only global alliance to welcome on board one of the major Gulf carriers, enabling us to be the only global alliance to offer consumers the services and benefits offered by both a global alliance and a Gulf carrier. Our own analysis clearly demonstrated that Qatar Airways is the best fit for oneworld’s network, requirements, philosophy and strategy.”