Thursday, September 26, 2013

Qatar due to join One World

The national airline of Qatar, Qatar Airways, has announced it will join the One World Alliance on 30th October 2013. The announcement comes after a series of talks as the first of the three big Middle Eastern airlines look to join an alliance.

Qatar Airways will also align its frequent flyer programme with British Airways’ Executive Club and American Airlines’ AAdvantage programmes which will allow passengers to collect and spend miles on each other’s flights.

The Doha based airline is the first of the ‘big three’ to join an official alliance whilst, Etihad Airways continues to grow its own equity alliance, expanding its global reach without the high investment costs of additional aircraft and staff. This cost saving measure has help the Abu Dhabi based airline grow rapidly and has helped Abu Dhabi in becoming a popular short breaks destination for Brits.

Last year, Qantas and Emirates announced they would also partner as Qantas moves a number of its operations to fly via Dubai instead of Singapore, adding to the numbers of seats the two offer on flights to Australia from London and Dubai.

The One World Alliance is the smallest of the three alliances with Star Alliance being the largest. The addition of Qatar Airways will help the alliance to grow its global reach. LAN Colombia is also due to join the alliance on 1st October 2013 with further additions of Sri Lankan Airlines and TAM Airlines in early to mid 2014.

Founded in 1999 by four of its existing members, the One World Alliance is the second oldest alliance in the world after Star Alliance. Concern has been growing over airberlin’s role in the alliance as it forms strengthening ties with Etihad Airways.

Founding member British Airways has recently taken ownership of its brand new Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 aircraft. The aircraft will lighten the pressure on the struggling British airline as it attempts to compete with other succeeding global players, namely that of the Middle East. The lower operating costs of the B787 and the additional capacity of the A380 will help BA to become more efficient as fuel and airport taxes rise in the UK.