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Qatar Airways to join oneworld alliance



                   Qatar Airways to join oneworld alliance

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, Oct. 8, 2012

NEW YORK, Oct. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --  Qatar Airways is to join oneworld^®,
adding one of the world's fastest growing and most highly rated airlines to
the world's leading quality airline alliance.

Its election as a oneworld member designate was announced today at a press
conference in New York – home of oneworld's central alliance management office
– with senior executives of Qatar Airways and the alliance's established
member airlines in attendance.

Qatar Airways, named Airline of the Year for the past two years by the Skytrax
independent airline quality rating agency, is the first of the three major
airlines based in the Gulf to sign for any of the global airline alliances. 
It is also the second largest full service airline in the world not, until
today, aligned to one of big global airline alliances.

The Doha-based airline's implementation into oneworld is expected to take
between 12 and 18 months. 

The carrier is set to move into a brand new home in 2013 with the opening of
the New Doha International Airport, designed to strengthen its position as a
premium global hub with an eventual capacity for 50 million passengers a year.

As a member of oneworld, Qatar Airways will fly alongside some of the biggest
and best brands in the airline business.  British Airways will serve as its
sponsor in joining oneworld, supported by the central oneworld alliance team,
mentoring the recruit through its alliance implementation programme.

Qatar Airways will be oneworld's second member airline based in the Middle
East, alongside Royal Jordanian, which became the first airline from the
region to join any of the global alliances when it boarded oneworld in 2007.

In just 15 years of operations, Qatar Airways has built up a solid
international route network flying to key business and leisure destinations
worldwide – and winning countless awards for high service levels, including
the Five Star accolade given by Skytrax.

Qatar Airways' network serves 120 destinations in 70 countries in the Middle
East, Europe, Africa, North and South America, Asia and Australasia, including
oneworld hubs Amman, Berlin Tegel, Buenos Aires Ezeiza, Hong Kong, London
Heathrow, Madrid, Melbourne, Moscow Domodedovo, New York JFK, Osaka Kansai,
Sydney, Tokyo Narita, and the Kuala Lumpur home of oneworld member elect
Malaysia Airlines.

Fifteen of its destinations and three countries - Iran, Rwanda and the
Seychelles - will be new to the one world map. More significantly, Qatar
Airways will substantially strengthen oneworld's customer offering by
providing superior routing alternatives across many hundreds of city pairs. 
For example, passengers flying between Asia and Southern Europe or between
Asia and Africa will now have convenient one-stop connections not previously
available within the oneworld network.

Qatar Airways operates one of the world's youngest and most modern fleets,
currently standing at 111 Boeing and Airbus aircraft with an average age of
just four years old.

Its addition will increase oneworld's global coverage to 856 destinations in
159 countries, served by a combined fleet of 2,600 aircraft operating more
than 9,300 flights and carrying almost a million passengers every day (342
million a year), generating annual revenues of nearly US$ 120 billion.

Qatar Airways already code-shares with oneworld member designate Malaysia
Airlines.  It will develop bilateral links with more airlines in the alliance
as it moves towards becoming a member of the group.

Two established oneworld member airlines currently serve its Doha home –
British Airways from its London hub, and Royal Jordanian from its Amman base –
along with member elect SriLankan, from its Colombo hub.   Opportunities for
increasing the alliance's services to Doha will be explored as Qatar Airways
prepares to join.

When Qatar Airways becomes part of oneworld, its customers will gain access to
the alliance's truly global network.  The 2.2 million members of its Privilege
Club frequent flyer programme will be able to earn and redeem rewards on any
of oneworld's other carriers, with top tier members able to use any of the
group's 550 plus airport lounges, and its network will be covered by
oneworld's market leading range of alliance fares. 

At the same time, the 125 million frequent flyer cardholders of oneworld's
established airlines will be able to earn and redeem rewards when flying on
Qatar Airways and access Qatar Airways' lounges.

What the CEOs say

Among those alongside Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker at
today's New York press conference to welcome the airline to oneworld were
American Airlines' Chairman and Chief Executive Tom Horton, Chairman of the
oneworld Governing Board; Chief Executive of IAG, parent of British Airways
and Iberia, Willie Walsh; oneworld CEO Bruce Ashby; and senior representatives
from other oneworld member airlines.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said: "Alliances are
playing an increasingly important role in the airline industry today – and
that will continue long into the future.  Qatar Airways has carefully reviewed
its strategic options and it is very clear that joining oneworld is by far the
best way forward for us as we look to strengthen our competitive offering and
give passengers what they fully deserve – more choice.  Like Qatar Airways,
oneworld is focused on quality and providing the best connections between the
places most important to today's frequent international travellers. 

"In Qatar Airways' relatively short history, we have quickly established a
reputation for innovation, quality and excellence in everything we do, raising
standards which our industry peers have watched with envy.  We are pleased to
build on that by becoming the only major airline from the Gulf to date to be
invited to join any of the global airline alliances – and we are proud to have
been invited to join the best of them, in oneworld.  We look forward to
completing all the joining requirements as soon as possible, and to fly
alongside some of the best airlines in the world long into the future,
bringing heightened benefits offered by oneworld to our customers."

American Airlines' Chairman and Chief Executive Tom Horton, Chairman of the
oneworld Governing Board, said: "Quality has always been the hallmark of
oneworld, so we are pleased to welcome to our alliance another of the world's
highest quality airlines.  oneworld aims to be the first choice alliance for
frequent international travelers the world over.  Adding Qatar Airways will
significantly improve our connectivity between many of the destinations that
are most important to those customers, so today's agreement with Qatar Airways
will enable us to offer even more value."

Willie Walsh, Chief Executive of IAG, parent of British Airways and Iberia,
said: "In Qatar Airways, oneworld is pleased to welcome another great airline
that will enhance oneworld's network and product offerings in one of the
world's fastest growing regions for air travel demand.  Its fine reputation
for customer service mirrors oneworld's own focus.  British Airways is
delighted to be serving as the sponsor of Qatar Airways in joining oneworld."

oneworld CEO Bruce Ashby added: "The big three Gulf carriers have been
embraced by millions of consumers the world over – just as consumers have
embraced global airline alliances.  Our own analysis clearly demonstrated that
Qatar Airways is the best fit for oneworld's network, requirements, philosophy
and strategy.  oneworld is delighted to be the first of the global alliances
to welcome a member airline from this region, enabling us to be the first to
offer consumers the services and benefits offered by both a global alliance
and a Gulf carrier.  We look forward to welcoming another great airline to
oneworld.

"oneworld's flexible approach to bilateral cooperation with carriers outside
our alliance means that links already established between our member airlines
with other carriers from this region may continue in tandem with Qatar
Airways' addition to oneworld, further strengthening the choice and
convenience we collectively offer our customers."

Images and logos

Video highlights of today's press conference, along with broadcast quality
video footage and print quality photographs can be obtained from
www.newscastus.com/mediablast/oneworld/100107/100107.html

A selection of print-quality images and logos of Qatar Airways, oneworld and
its existing member airlines can be downloaded from
http://www.oneworld.com/news-information/image-gallery/  The Qatar Airways
logo and images are posted there at
http://www.oneworld.com/news-information/image-gallery/list/?categoryID=4&subCategoryID=11

About Qatar Airways                                                   

Qatar Airways was launched in 1997 and quickly established itself as one of
the world's fastest growing and highest quality airlines. 

Besides being named Skytrax's Airline of the Year for the past two years, it
is also the organisation's Best Middle East Airline for the seventh year
running and has retained Skytrax's Five Star ranking since 2004.  Other recent
awards won include Business Traveler USA's Best Airline for International
Travel and Aviation Business' Airline of the Year 2011. 

It boarded 15 million passengers in 2011, generating group revenues of US$ 6.4
billion. 

Qatar Airways, which uses the two-letter code QR, has one of the world's
youngest fleets.  It currently operates 111 aircraft, with an average age of
four years, including 26 Boeing 777s, four Airbus A340-600s, 29 Airbus A330s
and 44 Airbus A320 family types.  It has orders and options for more than 250
more aircraft, worth more than US$ 50 billion, for delivery over the next few
years. These include 13 Airbus A380-800s, 80 Airbus A350s, 60 Boeing 787s and
80 Airbus A320neos.

Qatar Airways is 50 per cent owned by the State of Qatar and 50 per cent by
private shareholders.

About oneworld

oneworld aims to be the first choice airline alliance for the world's frequent
international travellers.   It brings together some of the best and biggest
names in the airline business – airberlin, American Airlines, British Airways,
Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN, Qantas, Royal Jordanian
and S7 Airlines, and around 20 affiliates including Austria's NIKI, American
Eagle, Dragonair, LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador and LAN Peru.  Malaysia Airlines
is on track to join at around the turn of the year, with SriLankan to follow
in 2013.  India's Kingfisher Airlines is also a member elect.  Mexicana is an
inactive member of the alliance. 

oneworld enables its members to offer their customers more services and
benefits than any airline can provide on its own.  These include a broader
route network, opportunities to earn and redeem frequent flyer miles and
points across the combined oneworld network and more airport lounges.  
oneworld also offers more alliance fares than any of its competitors. 

oneworld is current holder of three leading international awards for airline
alliances - named the Best Airline Alliance by Global Traveler in its  GT
Tested Reader Survey 2011 Awards  for the second year running,  the World's
Leading Airline Alliance in the 2011 World Travel Awards, for the ninth
consecutive year, and the Best Airline Alliance 2011 in Australian Business
Traveller's debut awards.

For further media information, contact:          
                Michael Blunt, +44 7711 997487
oneworld                                                     www.oneworld.com
                VP Corp Comms  michael.blunt@oneworld.com
                Salam Al       +974 4430 2072
Qatar Airways   Shawa,                                       www.qatarairways.com
                               qrmedia@qatarairways.com.qa
                VP Corp Comms
                Corporate      + 49 30 3434 1500
airberlin       Communications                               www.airberlin.com
                               abpresse@airberlin.com
American        Corporate      +1 817 967 1577
Airlines        Communications                               www.aa.com/newsroom
                               mediarelations@aa.com
                               +44 20 8738 5100
British Airways Press Office                                 www.ba.com/press
                               media.relations@ba.com
                Ivan Chan,
Cathay Pacific  Corporate      +852 2747 3837                www.cathaypacific.com
                Comms Manager  ivan_c_chan@cathaypacific.com
                International
                Corporate      +358 9 818 4970
Finnair         Communications                               www.finnair.com
                               comms@finnair.fi
                               +34 91 587 7462
Iberia          Communications                               www.iberia.com
                               media@Iberia.es
                Szehunn Yap,   +81 3 5460 3109
JAL             PR                                           www.jal.com/en/press
                               sze_hunn.yap@jal.com
                Felipe         +56 2 565 3976
LAN             Castillo, Corp
                Comms          felipe.castillo@lan.com       www.lan.com
                Daniela        +56 2 565 3978
                Riutort, Corp
                Comms          daniela.riutort@lan.com
                Andrew
                McGinnes, Head +61 2 9691 4200
Qantas          of External                                  www.qantas.com
                Affairs and    andrewmcginnes@qantas.com.au
                Media
                Basel Kilani,  +962 6 520 2060 / 2062
Royal Jordanian PR                                           www.rj.com
                               basel.kilani@rj.com
                Anna Bazhina,  +7 903 288 8508
S7 Airlines     Press Service                                www.s7.ru
                               a.bazhina@s7.ru

SOURCE Qatar Airways

Website: http://www.oneworld.com
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