Qatar Airways is busy getting ready to join the OneWorld Alliance with an entry date penciled in for late summer 2013. As the airline prepares to start cooperating with the 11 member alliance, there are a number of steps and hurdles the airline must overcome before completely integrating into the alliance network. Although there are still lots of work to be done, the most exciting news came on January 8th when American Airlines announced that starting February 26, 2013, American Airline AAdvantage members will be able to earn miles on codeshare flights operating by future OneWorld member, Qatar Airways!
Booking for American Air codeshare flights with Qatar will begin February 10th, pending government approval. Initial code sharing will be on Qatar flights to and from the USA and certain flights from Europe to Doha. The announcement specifically named London – Doha and Paris – Doha as two cities in Europe that will carry the AA code on Qatar Airways, and of course their US gateways, including Chicago, Houston, New York, and Washington DC will be included. Other cities beyond Doha and to the rest of the world were not yet announced, but I would expect more cities to be included as the partnership deepens!
American has been busy trying to enhance their offerings for their frequent flyer and I think this partnership with a Skytrax 5 star airline really puts them over the top.
“Our extensive codeshare relationship with Qatar Airways will provide our customers with easy, premium access when traveling to and from the Middle East and beyond,” said Kurt Stache, American’s Vice President – Strategic Alliances. “This new codeshare relationship with Qatar is another example of how American is focused on building its global network through closer coordination with its alliance partners around the world.”
Look out for more announcements in the future as ties between Qatar and American grow. When the codesharing beings, earning AAdvantage miles will start out on a limited number of flights, and earning will require the ticket purchased via American Airlines and valid only eligible fares on an AA codeshare flight where the ticket reflects the AA flight number (that’s what the AA twitter team told me), it’s a step in the right direction! As time progresses and Qatar becomes a full fledge member of OneWorld, we will be able to use our valuable AAdvantage miles for Qatar redemptions!