Qatar Airways (Doha) becomes part of oneworld® alliance at midnight Doha time tonight, 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.
From its first flights tomorrow morning – QR 633 which leaves Dhaka for Doha at 03.15 local (00.15 Doha time) and the QR 1166 from Doha for Riyadh, leaving five minutes later at 00.20 Doha time – Qatar Airways will be offering oneworld’s full range of services and benefits.
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.
For Qatar Airways, joining oneworld marks the latest achievement in its 16-year history. One of just seven carriers worldwide rated fivestar 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.
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.
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.
- Generate US$ 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.
Under the patronage of the Prime Minister of Qatar His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the ceremony was hosted by Qatar Airways’ Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker and attended by the CEOs and senior executives from all other oneworld member airlines, including:
- Chief Executive of IAG, the parent company of oneworld’s British Airways and Iberia and also of Vueling, which is not part of the alliance, Willie Walsh.
- oneworld CEO Bruce Ashby.
- Finnair’s President and Chief Executive Pekka Vauramo.
- Japan Airlines’ Chairman Masaru Onishi.
- Malaysia Airlines’ Group CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya.
- Member elect SriLankan Airlines Chairman Nishantha Wickramasinghe and Chief Executive Kapila Chandrasena.
- airberlin’s Senior Vice-President Alliances Stephan Nagel.
- American Airlines’ Vice-President Strategic Alliance Kurt Stache.
- British Airways’ Director of Strategy and Business Units Lynne Embleton.
- Cathay Pacific Airways’ Director of Sales and Marketing Rupert Hogg.
- Iberia’s Director of Alliances Antonio Pimentel.
- LATAM Airlines Group’s Vice-President Strategic Alliances Soledad Berrios.
- Qantas’ Chief Executive Loyalty Lesley Grant.
- Royal Jordanian’s Chief Commercial Officer Basma Majali.
- S7 Deputy Chief Executive for Strategy Vadim Besperstov.
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 ft (2 metre) 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 programme 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 programme 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.
Qatar Airways’ entry into oneworld completes what has been one of the biggest projects in the airline’s history, with working groups covering some 20 streams of activity, bringing its various internal processes and procedures into line with the alliance’s requirements, and running extensive employee training and communications programmes. British Airways has been supporting Qatar Airways through its alliance implementation project, as its oneworld sponsor airline, with backing from the central oneworld team.
Since accepting its invitation to join the alliance a year ago, Qatar Airways has expanded its code-sharing relationships to two established oneworld partners – American Airlines and Malaysia Airlines.
Watch a live streaming video of the press conference at 1000 local Doha time: CLICK HERE