Qatar Airways officially joins the oneworld alliance at a ceremony attended by Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker, center.

Qatar Airways officially joins the oneworld alliance at a ceremony attended by Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker, center.

Qatar Airways officially joins the oneworld alliance today at midnight on Doha time. The 16-year-old airline was able to comply with the membership requirements in one year, although it takes 18 to 24 months for most carriers.

Qatar is the second Middle Eastern airline to join oneworld, Royal Jordanian was the first, which gives the alliance the most significant presence of its peers in the region’s rapidly growing air travel market. It is also the only alliance with one of major Gulf airlines in its ranks. 

The 3 million members of Qatar’s Privilege Club loyalty program will be able to reap frequent flyer benefits on oneworld’s 42 airlines. Loyalty members will be able to earn and redeem Qmiles on any oneworld flight and Platinum and Gold members will gain access to more than 550 airport lounges worldwide.

The 140 million frequent flyers on oneworld airlines, including American, British Airways, Japan Airlines, LAN Airlines, and Qantas, will be able to redeem points and other oneworld benefits when flying Qatar.

Regular flyers will also benefit with the introduction of oneworld’s new Visit Middle East Pass. With purchase of an international flight on any oneworld carrier to the Middle East, travelers can access the pass that gives them flexible reduced fares for flights within the Gulf, Middle East, and Egypt.

Starting tonight, oneworld logos will be applied to the entrance doors on Qatar’s entire fleet of 130 aircraft and on all Qatar products.