Back in October 2012, Qatar Airways signed an agreement to work towards membership of the oneworld alliance, which includes British Airways.
This would allow British Airways Executive Club members to spend Avios points on Qatar flights, as well as earn Avios and tier points when flying with them.
According to this article in Australian Business Traveller, Qatar is planning to join in October 2013. This would represent impressive progress compared to some other sign-ups with oneworld and Star Alliance, but Qatar is likely to have better existing IT systems than many other non-European airlines.
As you can redeem Avios on all oneworld carriers (current members include American Airlines, Air Berlin, Royal Jordanian, Japan Airlines, Iberia, Cathay Pacific, Qantas and Finnair, as well as BA) this will open up some interesting new redemption options. Qatar has a strong and growing route network, as the press release says:
Qatar Airways’ network serves 120 destinations in 70 countries in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, North and South America, Asia and Australasia, including oneworld hubs Amman, Berlin Tegel, Buenos Aires Ezeiza, Hong Kong, London Heathrow, Madrid, Melbourne, Moscow Domodedovo, New York JFK, Osaka Kansai, Sydney, Tokyo Narita, and the Kuala Lumpur home of oneworld member elect Malaysia Airlines.
Fifteen of its destinations and three countries – Iran, Rwanda and the Seychelles – will be new to the one world map. More significantly, Qatar Airways will substantially strengthen oneworld’s customer offering by providing superior routing alternatives across many hundreds of city pairs. For example, passengers flying between Asia and Southern Europe or between Asia and Africa will now have convenient one-stop connections not previously available within the oneworld network.
Qatar also has very impressive First and Business Class cabin – here is the business class product going into their new Boeing 787′s:
Good news all round then. Keep an eye out for the exact joining date because – when a new partner joins an alliance – there is usually a period where there is a huge amount of reward availability, before it all gets sucked up.