Qatar Airways is to join the oneworld alliance, adding one of the world’s fastest growing and most highly rated airlines to the world’s leading quality alliance. Qatar Airways is expected to join late next year or in early 2014, shortly after the opening of a new airport at its Doha base.
The addition of the airline will take 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 1 million passengers every day, generating annual revenues of nearly US$ 120 billion.
“Qatar joining oneworld means that Finnair customers will now enjoy greater connectivity to key business centres in Africa and the Middle East,” says Finnair CEO Mika Vehviläinen. “Finnair Plus members will also be able to earn more points to more destinations, and members with tier status will have access to more world-class lounges than ever before.”
Qatar Airways is the first of the major airlines based in the Gulf region to sign for any of the global airline alliances. Until today, it was also the second largest full service airline in the world not aligned to one of big global airline groups.
“The airline industry is clearly undergoing consolidation worldwide, and strengthening the alliance system is the way forward for large and boutique carriers alike who wish to benefit from scale and greater cooperation while still maintaining their independence,” adds Vehviläinen. “At Finnair we believe we must differentiate on service, and the oneworld alliance with its emphasis on quality allows all member airlines, including Finnair, to deliver more services, benefits and value than they could on their own.”
British Airways will serve as Qatar Airways’ sponsor in joining the alliance, supported by the central oneworld alliance team, mentoring the recruit through its alliance implementation program.
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