Qatar tipped to join Oneworld alliance
Speculation is mounting that a special meeting of the Oneworld Alliance - which includes British Airways and Qantas as its members - could see the unveiling of Qatar Airways as its newest member.
Following the tie-up between Emirates and Qantas earlier in the month there were suggestions that British Airways and the Doha airline could create a similiar deal - but that was dismissed by Qatar's CEO Akbar Al Baker.
Now reports in the US media suggest that the tie up will instead be through the alliance. Qatar would be the first of the major Gulf carriers to join an alliance. Emirates has always fervantly resisted the alliance route believing it would cost them customers. Etihad has created its own mini-alliance through aquisition and code share deals.
Flightglobal reported today that an event announcing a "significant membership development" will take place on 8 October in New York. The online news service said it had seen documents that said the meeting would include Bruce Ashby, chief executive of Oneworld, Tom Horton, chairman and chief executive of American Airlines, and Willie Walsh, chief executive of International Airlines Group (IAG).
Qatar will not comment on the alliance issue. If the announcement is made as predicted, Qatar will join Royal Jordanian as a Oneworld member