Qatar’s CEO says they will not join oneworld.
Qatar Airways has no plans to join the oneworld airline alliance, its Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker said on Sunday, dismissing reports that the airline had become the newest member of the group as “rumor.”
Asked if the carrier would join oneworld, which includes British Airways, owned by IAG (ICAG.L), Baker said: “No, we will not. It’s all rumors.”
Flightglobal had claimed to have documents to the contrary, and that such a move would be announced on October 8.
The early October event could also be an announcement that TAM would move over from Star to oneworld, or perhaps that Malaysia Airlines had completed its integration to join the alliance.
Flightglobal’s claim to have leaked documents to the effect seemed persuasive, though as I noted earlier it did seem odd given that Emirates had entered into a strong tie-up with Qantas, that one imagines it would be difficult for Qantas to go along with Qatar joining oneworld, and also because Etihad had gotten quite close to oneworld with its large stake in oneworld carrier Air Berlin and frequent flyer partnership with American.
But one does imagine that the large Middle East carriers will ultimately develop stronger links with other world airlines, in fact they are already doing so even if the largest ones haven’t formally joined alliances.
American already partners with Etihad, and has had discussions with Emirates. American also partners with Gulf Air, and Royal Jordanian is a member of oneworld.
Qatar and United recently severed heir relationship.