Drama continues with the Real Housewives of Qatar

At this point I’m posting this simply because I find it to be one of the most hilarious cases of conflicting information in a long time

On Friday Flightglobal hinted at inside information that Qatar Airways would join the OneWorld alliance:

Oneworld will hold an event announcing a “significant membership development” on 8 October, coming amidst widely-reported discussions with Qatar Airways about joining the alliance.

The event will be held in New York and includes 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), according to documents obtained by Flightglobal.

Qatar has been linked to joining one of the big three alliances in the near future.

Then yesterday Reuters claimed that this wasn’t true, quoting their CEO:

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, Baker said: “No, we will not. It’s all rumors.”

Then late last night the Financial Times reported that Qatar Airways will be joining the OneWorld alliance:

Qatar Airways is set to be the first of the fast-expanding Gulf carriers to become a member of one of the global airline alliances, by agreeing to join oneworld.

Then today Reuters once again reported that Qatar Airways won’t be joining OneWorld, quoting the CEO:

Baker also said Qatar was not preparing to join the oneworld alliance after sources close to the airline group said that next week it would become the first Gulf carrier to join.

“Qatar Airways is not considering joining oneworld at this time,” Baker said.

Earlier on Tuesday sources close to the alliance said Qatar Airways would be unveiled as the group’s latest member at a news conference in New York planned for Monday.

Baker added he was not going to New York this weekend.

Man, this is some juicy drama! Every reliable source (other than the CEO, though not convinced he’s actually a reliable source!) I’ve heard from suggests that Qatar Airways will be joining OneWorld, so I guess we’ll see. If they do join next week, the CEO has some ‘splaining to do.

Given the inconsistent reports, I might as well add a poll. Let me know below if you think Qatar Airways will be joining OneWorld next week or not.

[poll id=”21″]

Filed Under: Qatar
  1. obviously he wouldn’t say if they were at this point. But my guess is that he would simply issue a “no comment at this time” if they actually were going to join instead of the unequivocal denial. Unless by “at this time” he just means today.

  2. Looks like they’re just tearing off the petals of a flower …

    “They’ll join OW, they’ll join OW not, they’ll join OW, they’ll join OW not”

  3. Conventional wisdom dictates that he’d have no comment rater than deny outright.

    Either he’s out of touch or is trying to be deceptive for some reason, rather than just being cryptic. Is there any reason whatsoever why he should be denying this other than being clueless or an outright liar?

  4. Is it really that bad if someone announced it and qatar will join,it is not like the world will collapsed if he admit it before the day of or people will start flying qatar just because they join OW. Dont understand it.

  5. I lived in Qatar for two years, and as soon as al-baker denied it, I explained the whole situation to my girlfriend (who also loved there) and we are agreed that this probably means QR is in. It’s a different world in the gulf. Your logic of “he shouldve said no comment” just doesn’t work in that context.

  6. al-Bakar seems to be a pretty no-BS guy, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say that AS will be the airline being inducted. That is, if they are actually introducing a new member instead of just making a previously announced airline an official member.

  7. Didn’t EK just come to some codeshare agreements with both QF and AA? If so, I’m guessing those will be nixed if QR joins OW??? That, along with the fact that QR doesn’t really need an alliance if they want to focus on big cities from their DOH hub, is what led me to vote no.

    The emergence of the gulf carriers has definitely throw a wrench in the alliance paradigm.

    I’d definitely be interested in redeeming AA miles for QR flights. QR was a tremendous value when bookable with UA miles because their 2-class J on the 77L and 77W is better than 3-class F on most airlines (obviously not SQ, CX, EK F, but many airlines yes).

  8. The best “Season Finale” would be if they decided to get back with their ex, United.

  9. I’ve done business with Qatar Airways and al-Baker is well known in the industry for making outrageous comments. I have no idea if QR is going to join OW (I hope so, though), but I would not take al-Baker’s strident denial as evidence that they are not joining.

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