Qatar Airways has announced their intent to join the oneworld alliance. It is the first airline in the Gulf region to align itself to a global airline alliance. The airline is also the second member airline of oneworld based in the Middle East. Royal Jordanian was the first from the region when it joined the alliance in 2007.
Qatar’s implementation into oneworld is expected to take between 12 and 18 months, so members of Qatar Airways Privilege Club can expect to start reaping the benefits of oneworld sometime between October and April 2013. British Airways is the sponsoring airline for the oneworld alliance.
Qatar serves 120 destinations in 70 countries and 15 of its destinations and three countries–Iran, Rwanda and Seychelles–will be new to the oneworld map.
Bottom line: Qatar has had partnerships with Star Alliance member airlines including United Airlines and US Airways. The partnership with United ended as of Sept. 14, 2012. As we write this, the partnership with US Airways is still in effect, but members should take advantage of current partnerships now because as Qatar moves toward oneworld membership, expect to see more changes.