Qatar Airways has announced details of its new codeshare agreement with fellow oneworld member American Airlines. The news comes following years of disagreement between the two airlines.
A year ago, it was no secret that Qatar Airways was unhappy with its partner American Airlines. In March 2019, the airline was rumored to be ready to pull the trigger on leaving its alliance. This followed months of repeated threats by the airline’s CEO Akbar al-Baker.
What are the details?
Qatar Airways today revealed the details of its new codeshare agreement with American Airlines. A codeshare agreement is a standard agreement between carriers that allows one airline to sell tickets on another airline. It also applies a flight number for both airlines to the relevant flights.
Qatar Airways’ codeshare agreement started a couple of days ago. However, the Qatari carrier waited until today to share the news. The rollout of the codeshare agreement won’t be instant. However, once complete, it will add a vast network of travel options for passengers.
Qatar Airways has flights to 10 destinations in the United States, although the airline is currently only flying to a handful of its destinations due to the current situation. However, when the codeshare is in full swing, it will cover over 1,000 domestic flights operated by American Airlines.
While impressive, that’s not all. Pending government approval, more destinations in Central America and the Caribbean will be added.
Commenting on the announcement, Qatar Airways’ CCO, Simon Talling-Smith said:
“This codeshare is just the first step in renewing our long-term strategic partnership with American Airlines. The rollout of this domestic codeshare demonstrates our airlines are confident about the future…”
Meanwhile, American Airlines’ SVP of Network Strategy, Vasu Raja, added:
“We are pleased that we’ve reached this important milestone with Qatar Airways… This is just the beginning of a strong partnership and we have a very bright future ahead of us.”
oneworld spat over?
One would assume that today’s announcement would mean that the airline’s spat with the oneworld alliance is over. After all, Qatar’s unhappiness with its alliance membership largely stemmed from a dispute with American Airlines.
Qatar believed that its American partner was making claims against it to the US Government. At the ITB trade show in Berlin last year, Al Baker commented:
“we in the matter of a month or two will give you the news if we are going to stay or not, and I think the latter will happen.”
However, seeing as it is far more than a few months later, it seems as though Qatar Airways is committed to the alliance for the long term.
What do you make of the Qatar Airways American Airlines codeshare? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!