Back in October Qatar Airways announced their intent to join the OneWorld alliance, a process which would take 12-18 months. Historically airlines will sometimes already launch individual partnerships prior to the official join date, while in other cases they don’t.
Well, it looks like American will be kicking off their relationship with Qatar Airways sooner rather than later, as they’ll begin codesharing on February 10, 2013, for flights beginning February 26, 2013.
This is great news because it means it’ll be possible to earn both redeemable and elite qualifying miles with American for travel on Qatar Airways. The key is that in order to qualify the flights have to be booked as codeshares, meaning your Qatar Airways flight has to have an American flight number.
Unfortunately no time frame has been set yet for the ability to redeem miles on Qatar Airways. It may only be possible once they join OneWorld or it may be possible earlier; it’s anyone’s guess.
It’ll be interesting to see what the implications of this are in regards to American’s relationship with Etihad Airways. I can’t imagine they’re all too thrilled about American partnering with one of their main competitors, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see that partnership end, especially once Qatar Airways joins OneWorld.