Alaska Airlines will join the oneworld Alliance on March 31st. With this move, Qatar Airways has been ramping up its presence at the Seattle-based carrier’s hubs. The two operators see plenty of benefits to be had by collaborating amid the membership progress. Simple Flying last week caught up with Alaska Airlines’ SVP of fleet, finance and alliances, Nathaniel Pieper, about what to expect with the partnership.
Already seeing value
Pieper emphasizes that Alaska Airlines has been a stalwart in the United States. The operator had the ability to get its passengers and elite members around the world with an existing network of partners. Some of these companies have been oneworld carriers, while others have been unaffiliated or part of other alliances. However, the airline hasn’t been able to deliver the seamless benefits that frequent travelers especially count on. Therefore, oneworld will help the business achieve just that.
Alaska Airlines has partnered with the likes of British Airways, JAL, Cathay Pacific, Qantas, and American Airlines over the years. Nonetheless, the firm is excited to take its collaborations to the next level to offer consistent advantages and a seamless experience for its customers. Ultimately, it is excited about truly going global.
One particular airline that has been positively vocal about Alaska’s membership is Qatar Airways. The flag carrier of Qatar has publicly expressed its joy about the move and announced expansions to Seattle this year.
A perfect match
Both Alaska Airlines and Qatar Airways have a reputation for upholding high-quality customer service with their operations. Alaska undoubtedly recognizes the potential benefits of aligning with the Doha-based outfit.
”I think the Qatar announcement to start service to Seattle is a by-product of oneworld. I can’t speak for Qatar specifically, but in terms of their designs on flying to Seattle, maybe they would have come to Seattle without having a strong oneworld partner here, but I think Alaska joining oneworld made that business case for Qatar much easier,” Pieper told Simple Flying.
“It’s a great additional path for our guests to now get to the Middle East and beyond. Qatar’s inflight product and reputation are second to none. So, really excited to partner with them on this new flight and put passengers on there, connecting Alaska folks from up and down the West Coast to Qatar’s flight to Doha and then obviously, connecting beyond Doha and Qatar to hundreds of unique destinations.”
Opening up opportunities
Another significant benefit of the partnership that Alaska Airlines is keen to highlight is its presence across the whole of the West Coast. Pieper shares that since the merger with Virgin America in 2016, his airline’s network west of the Rocky Mountains is second to none.
Qatar Airways notably flies to several hubs across the US. So, along with opportunities with the flights into Seattle, passengers of the two airlines can also enjoy connections following the Middle Eastern carrier’s services to Los Angeles and San Francisco from Doha. Overall, there will be substantial support for travelers across the Pacific Coast.
Altogether, the partnership works both ways. Travelers heading out of Alaska Airlines’ hubs will have great options to connect across the globe with Qatar Airways. Meanwhile, Alaska Airlines’ operations across the West Coast and the state of Alaska will enable smooth connections across these regions.
What are your thoughts about Alaska Airlines’ partnership with Qatar Airways? What do you expect from these collaborations this year? Let us know what you think of the prospects in the comment section.