Qatar Airways will officially join the Oneworld alliance in October – six months earlier than originally expected.
When the airline first announced last year that it was to join the alliance, Qatar gave itself a deadline of March 2014 for entry into Oneworld.
But a senior Qatar source at the Paris Air Show has revealed that an entry date of October has now been cemented.
British Airways is serving as Qatar's sponsor in joining Oneworld, supported by the central alliance team which mentors the Doha-based carrier through its alliance implementation programme.
Qatar Airways will be Oneworld's second member airline based in the Middle East, alongside Royal Jordanian, which became the first airline from the region to join any of the global alliances (see online news, October 2005).
Qatar's network serves 120 destinations in 70 countries in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, North and South America, Asia and Australasia. Fifteen of its destinations and three countries - Iran, Rwanda and the Seychelles - will be new to Oneworld.
Qatar already has codeshare deals with Oneworld member Malaysia Airlines.
Oneworld members will be able to take advantage of Qatar's home airport, the New Doha International Airport, when it opens later this year with an eventual capacity for 50 million passengers annually.