Airlines

Qatar Airways to Join oneworld

Finally, some positive news for American Airlines! It was announced yesterday that Qatar Airways will be joining the oneworld® alliance — it will take 12 to 18 months for the process to be completed. You can get the full details here.

I’m excited by this because it will give me, as an AAdvantage member, access to one of the top airlines in the world. Qatar was named Airline of the Year for the past two years by the Skytrax independent airline quality rating agency. Its premium service ranks it as one of the top three or four airlines in the world. It also has a very modern fleet.

According to their press release, “Fifteen of its destinations and three countries – Iran, Rwanda and the Seychelles – will be new to the oneworld map.” Three new countries for me!

  • Iran – let’s go visit their nuclear plants! Actually, let’s not.
  • Rwanda – no, not on my bucket list
  • Seychelles – Starwood and Hilton have some beautiful properties on these islands located north of Madagascar, east of Kenya and Somalia. I ignored them in the past since none of the oneworld airlines served the Seychelles. Now, I may look at it as a future vacation destination.

Qatar Airway’s home base is Doha: I had a short 36-hour layover in Doha a few years ago and would not mind going back for a longer stay. My wife has suggested many times that it might be a good mileage run for me, particularly if I can bring back some more jewelry for her, the prices were that good!

I welcome Qatar Airways to oneworld, and look forward to flying with them in the future.

Here is more information from the press release.

About Qatar Airways                                                   

Qatar Airways was launched in 1997 and quickly established itself as one of the world’s fastest growing and highest quality airlines.

Besides being named Skytrax’s Airline of the Year for the past two years, it is also the organisation’s Best Middle East Airline for the seventh year running and has retained Skytrax’s Five Star ranking since 2004.  Other recent awards won include Business Traveler USA’s Best Airline for International Travel and Aviation Business’ Airline of the Year 2011.

It boarded 15 million passengers in 2011, generating group revenues of US$ 6.4 billion.

Qatar Airways, which uses the two-letter code QR, has one of the world’s youngest fleets.  It currently operates 111 aircraft, with an average age of four years, including 26 Boeing 777s, four Airbus A340-600s, 29 Airbus A330s and 44 Airbus A320 family types.  It has orders and options for more than 250 more aircraft, worth more than US$ 50 billion, for delivery over the next few years. These include 13 Airbus A380-800s, 80 Airbus A350s, 60 Boeing 787s and 80 Airbus A320neos.

Qatar Airways is 50 per cent owned by the State of Qatar and 50 per cent by private shareholders.

Amercian Airlines Raises the Bar High With Their New Aircraft Interiors.

We’ve know for almost a year that American Airlines had placed a massive order with both Airbus and Boeing, their goal being to give AA the youngest fleet of any of the five major American carriers. Some of those aircraft have already made their way into the fleet, the 737-800s with the Sky Interior are joining at the rate of three per month.

We also know that the first 777-ERs will start to arrive this year, while the first Airbus product will appear in 2013. We know all that . What we did not know was what the aircraft interiors would look like, what features they would offer. With the release of this video, we now know.

I have to admit I am excited by this and am looking forward to flying on these aircraft. Passengers in coach will have their own TV screen with hundreds of hours of content, a 110 volt AC socket to plug things in, a USB connector, iPhone compatibility,. That is great stuff and should make a trip much more pleasant.

The front of areas of the plane will feature luxury accommodations not currently available, I believe, among domestic US carriers.

As these new aircraft join the fleet, American will not only get a younger fleet, they will get aircraft that offer more features, comfort, and luxury to their passenger than their current aircraft do. I look forward to my first flight on one of them.!

Disclaimer: I own stock in AMR corporation, American Airlines’ parent company. Total value of my holdings is less than $90.

Sometimes We Forget — Flying is Special

We live in a time when almost all airfares are far lower than they were ten or twenty years ago. Commercial airliners routinely fly halfway around the world non-stop. And so many people have access to air travel that we tend to take it for granted.

For some of us though, flying is special. Even though I have made so many flights over the last few years, I still get excited when I have the chance to fly again.

British Airways’ latest commercial shows us beautifully that flying was, and can still be, special.

Enjoy.

If you do not see the video, you can view on YouTube by clicking this link: British Airways’s Latest Commercial