Membership should be achieved in 12-18 months
Qatar Airways has been invited officially to join oneworld. It looks highly likely to become the first major Gulf carrier to enter into one of the three global airline alliances. Membership will come in 12-18 months, the alliance says. International Airlines Group CEO Willie Walsh hailed the event as a “landmark” at a well-attended press conference in New York.
“Qatar Airways is the second largest full-service airline in the world [which] until today was not aligned with one of the world’s global alliances.”
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said in New York: “Things are changing in the Middle East and in the global aviation industry. When you cannot defeat your competitors, you join them. And that is what is happening here.” He added: “Becoming part of an alliance will not stop our expansion. Quite the contrary.”
He said the three alliances may now be thinking that it is “best to partner with the Gulf carriers rather than thinking we are the pariahs of the industry.”
[photo courtesy Qatar Airways]