19 NOVEMBER 2018
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A renewed threat to leave the oneworld alliance, which includes British Airways, has come from Qatar Airways in a disagreement with fellow member Qantas over comments by the Australian carrier on its website.
Reports last week said Qatar CEO and current IATA president Akbar Al Baker has said he will abandon oneworld if other members fail to act “in the spirit” of the partnership.
His comments at the IATA "Winds of Change" conference in Madrid last week (see in this issue) came after Qantas posted a newsletter on its website saying it was “opposed to Australia granting additional flying rights to nations whose carriers operate in uncommercial and uncompetitive ways”.
Qantas, which has a relationship with Qatar's Middle Eastern rival Emirates, is reported to have added: "Qatar does not operate like most carriers.”
Several of Qatar's neighbouring countries, including Dubai where Emirates is based, have blockaded Qatar Airways’ flights in a political wrangle although Qatar has continued to operate.
Al Baker told the Bloomberg news agency: “I don't see any point in us continuing to stay a part of oneworld when other partners see us as a threat.”
Meanwhile, Oman Air also entered the alliances debate, telling ATW it believed joint ventures with code-share partners offered small carriers greater benefits than membership in a global organisation.
(See also Airline alliances under scrutiny in this issue)
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