Qatar Airways joins int’l airlines alliance
NEW YORK - The Associated Press
Passengers of a Qatar Airway’s flight to Mynamar arrive at Yangon Airport. EPA photoQatar Airways is joining an alliance of airlines including American Airlines, British Airways and nine other carriers that coordinate routes and allow passengers to earn frequent flier miles on each other’s flights.
The inclusion in the oneworld alliance - aimed at allowing passengers to hop around the globe easier - signals the growing importance of Persian Gulf carriers such as Doha-based Qatar.
“Alliances are playing an increasingly important role in the airline industry today - and that will continue long into the future,” Qatar’s CEO Akbar Al Baker said in a statement.
It will take 12 to 18 months for Qatar to join the alliance. The oneworld alliance competes with SkyTeam, a group of airlines including Delta Air Line, and the Star Alliance, which includes United Airlines, US Airways and Turkish Airlines.
Frequent business travelers like alliances because they are able to earn and redeem frequent flier miles with the partners, use alliance airport lounges and book complicated trips on one itinerary. A flier could travel on a Cathay Pacific, British Airways or Iberia flight and earn American Airlines miles for those flights.
Another rapidly expanding Gulf carrier, Etihad Airways, announced earlier Monday that it will start jointly marketing some of its flights with Air France-KLM, part of SkyTeam.