Qatar Not Joining oneworld After All

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.

(HT: GringoLoco in the comments)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »



  1. Shame!

    Would have helped me greatly, due to my location, status, and miles.

    Gotta wait ’til April ’13, burn on Emirates instead!

  2. my goodness!

    First the Amex Platinum card is and then is not… and now this! Wow. Well Gary that aint your fault but some of these blogposts get me to spill my coffee twice –when they come and again when they later suddenly go. Of course, it does prove that this is a constantly moving ball and we must all always stay in tune with things. But what a bummer! I too was looking forward to QR on OW. Oh well, time to try something else.


  3. al-Baker is well known in the industry for shooting from the hip and not being fully reliable. I would not assume that he is being truthful with this statement. the rumor may be unfounded, but I would not his denial as the final word on the matter.

  4. While Delta is an airline which owns a refinery, the Gulf airlines are basically refineries which own airlines.

  5. We’re probably going to have to wait until the announcement to find out, but maybe it’s US joining oneworld as a precursor to merging with AA? I hope it’s not that, but who knows?

  6. I think Qatar should be in the Staralliance which will make it have connections to the West Coast of the US and the mid West seamlessly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *