• Two oneworld members elect start participating in alliance round-the-world fare before joining the group in the year ahead, adding more destinations and route options
oneworld® members elect Qatar Airways and SriLankan Airlines are to participate in the Global Explorer round-the-world fare offered by all the alliance's members and selected other carriers - Qatar Airways from today and SriLankan from tomorrow.
The move represents a first step by both airlines towards their implementation into oneworld, which is on track for the year ahead - when they will start participating in the full range of the alliance's fares and offering all its other services and benefits. Their oneworld joining dates will be announced in due course.
Meantime, Qatar Airways' entire global network, covering 125 destinations in 71 countries worldwide from its Doha hub, and SriLankan's entire global schedule serving 32 airports in 22 countries will both now feature as part of Global Explorer, which is one of the most popular round-the-world fares available.
The Gulf carrier adds four countries to the map served by Global Explorer - Iran, Mozambique, Rwanda and the Seychelles - and 17 more destinations across the Indian sub-continent, the Middle East and Africa, including India's Amritsar, Goa and Kochi and Tanzania's Kilimanjaro. It also significantly expands the routing alternatives available through Global Explorer, by adding direct connections between hundreds of city pairs, in particular between Asia and Africa or Southern Europe.
SriLankan connects one destination to the Global Explorer map, India's Tiruchchirappalli, while also adding more routing options, in particular in South Asia, where it is not only the flag carrier of Sri Lanka but also the leading international airline serving the Maldives and also has a significant presence in Southern India.
As Qatar Airways and SriLankan Airlines start participating in Global Explorer, Gulf Air withdraws its participation. Global Explorer tickets issued before 28 February with sectors on Gulf Air will be honoured.
Qatar Airways and SriLankan's addition to Global Explorer expands the worldwide reach of Global Explorer - which offers simple, flexible, and great value round-the-world travel for trips of up to one year long - to some 900 destinations in 160 countries.
The round-the-world fare also covers all routes offered by oneworld's existing member airlines - airberlin, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Royal Jordanian and Russia's S7 plus some 30 affiliated carriers, including Austria's Niki, OpenSkies, South Africa's Comair, Denmark's SUN-AIR, Iberia Express, Iberia Regional Air Nostrum, LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador, LAN Peru, and QantasLink.
Global Explorer also includes a number of airlines that have no links with oneworld - Aer Lingus, Air Pacific, Alaska Airlines and its Horizon Airlines sister, Meridianafly and WestJet. Flights carrying the Qantas code but operated by Air Tahiti Nui, Jetstar, South African Airways and Vietnam Airlines are included too, expanding the reach covered by the fare further still.
The fare offers simple, flexible and great value round-the-world travel for trips of up to one year. Four versions are available - for trips of up to 26,000, 29,000, 34,000 or 39,000 miles. All are for travel in Economy Class, but the 34,000 mile version can be used for First or Business Class travel. Not all versions are available for travel from all countries. Prices vary depending on the version chosen, cabin class and country of purchase. For further details, see oneworld.com's Global Explorer page.
Global Explorer is one of two round-the-world fares offered by oneworld. The alliance's other round-the-world fare is oneworld Explorer. This includes travel on the alliance's existing member airlines and affiliates only. Uniquely, prices are based on the number of continents visited, rather than on the distance flown.
oneworld offers the widest choice of alliance fares. Besides its two round-the-world products, it also offers a choice of four Circle fares, for travelers who want to visit several continents without circumnavigating the globe, and eight Visit passes for exploring a single continent or region.
For full details of Global Explorer and sample itineraries, see oneworld.com or contact any participating airline or your local travel agent.
About Qatar Airways
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 119 aircraft, with an average age of four years. It has orders and options for more than 250 more aircraft worth over US$250 billion for delivery over the next few years.
It was invited to join oneworld in October 2012 and is on track for implementation in the year ahead.
About SriLankan Airlines
Tracing its origins back to 1947, SriLankan Airlines today is the flagcarrier airline for Sri Lanka but also the largest international airline serving the Maldives and with a significant presence in southern India too.
Using the airline code UL, it serves 31 destinations in 20 countries from its Colombo hub, carrying 3.5 million passengers in the year to end March 2012. Its fleet of 21 aircraft has an average age of nine years.
It was invited to join oneworld in June 2012 and is on track for implementation in the year ahead.
oneworld is an alliance of the world's leading airlines committed to providing the highest level of service and convenience to frequent international travellers. oneworld member airlines include airberlin, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Royal Jordanian and S7 Airlines, and around 30 affiliates. SriLankan Airlines and Qatar Airways are on track to join soon. American has announced its intention to merge with US Airways, subject to necessary approvals, bringing the latter also into oneworld.
- Serve more than 900 airports in almost 160 countries, with nearly 12,500 daily departures.
- Carry some more than 440 million passengers a year on a combined fleet of almost 3,250 aircraft.
- Generate US$ 133 billion annual revenues in total.
oneworld member airlines work together to deliver consistently a superior, seamless travel experience, with special privileges and rewards for frequent flyers, including earning and redeeming miles and points across the entire alliance network. Top tier cardholders (Emerald and Sapphire) enjoy access to some 550 airport lounges. The most regular travellers (Emerald) can also use fast track security lanes at select airports and extra baggage allowances.
oneworld is currently the holder of three leading international awards for airline alliances - named the Best Airline Alliance by Global Traveler in its GT Tested Reader Survey 2012 Awards for the third year running, the World's Leading Airline Alliance in the 2012 World Travel Awards for the 10th year running, and Australian Business Traveller Best Airline Alliance in 2012 for the second year running.