Qatar Airways Rumoured To Announce Its Departure From The Oneworld Alliance

Qatar Airways is rumoured to announce its departure from the OneWorld alliance following a press conference held in Berlin this morning. The news comes following months of speculation over the airlines future in the alliance, due to feuds with fellow members American Airlines and Qantas.

Since back in October, Qatar’s CEO Akbar Al Baker has been threatening Qatar’s departure from the OneWorld Alliance on and off. Mr Al Baker was present at a meeting of most of the OneWorld CEOs, where he seemed fairly civil towards his colleagues.

Anger At American Airlines and Qantas

Qatar’s unhappiness at its OneWorld membership stems from disagreements with fellow members. It doesn’t see the point of being in an alliance is if members are working against each other. With regards to American Airlines, Qatar believes its American Partner is making claims against it to the US Government.

Things are slightly different over in Australia. Qatar believes Qantas is trying to block the airline’s expansion into Australia. Al Baker previously said: “[Qantas] is blocking us getting rights into Australia. So what is the point of us being in this alliance if it is only in the interest of a few and the interest of the rest is compromised?”

February Civilities

Back in February, Qatar’s relationship with its OneWorld partners looked fairly civil. At the conference Al Baker was heard to say: “I am here today, so we can see we are all together as a team, and we will be here as long as we can speak together and see if we can resolve the differences we have and only after that will we decide what to do.

Al Baker was also seen to exchange civilities with Qantas CEO Alan Joyce when leaving the conference. Al Baker had to choose who to say goodbye to as he had to leave while the conference was ongoing, so his choice of Mr Joyce seemed fairly significant.

Fresh Threats To Leave

Al Baker took questions about his airline at a press conference in Berlin earlier this morning. He was asked about the airline’s status in the alliance. Mr Al Baker said that he had “Given them [OneWorld] breathing space to get their act together.” and that “Qatar Airways is not a Mickey Mouse Airline”.

He went on to state that Qatar Airlines was the “Largest ASK contributor to OneWorld”. Al Baker threatened that “If we leave OneWorld we will create a big hole in their connectivity” before going on to add “We are not going to be bullied by some individual who believes the world belongs to them, the world belongs to the world community”.

He closed his remarks on OneWorld with the comment: “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”.

Do you think Qatar Airways will pull the trigger on leaving the OneWorld Alliance? Let us know in the comments down below.