To no one’s surprise, One World announced today that British Airways will sponsor Qatar Airways as a full member of the Alliance, a process that is expected to take between 12 and 18 months.
This news will strongly bolster the One World.
The 13 airline strong alliance will count amongst its membership three five star airlines (as measured by Skytrax) : Cathay Pacific, Malaysia Airlines and Qatar compared to Star Alliance’s two: Asiana and Singapore. One World lost two members when Malev collapsed in 2012 and Mexicana was grounded in 2011. Malaysian Airlines and Kingfisher, two would be One World members have had significant financial woes – to the extent that Kingfisher’s is unlikely to gain membership. Founding member American Airlines has been in bankruptcy, Qantas has lost money and Japan Airlines has just emerged from bankruptcy.
With the news from Etihad of their deal with Air France-KLM, it will be interesting to see what Emirates does next and what this announcement does for the Emirates-Qantas partnership.