Qatar Airways has increased its Airbus A350 fleet once more to a total of 53 aircraft. Today, the Middle Eastern carrier revealed that it had increased its codeshare agreement with South America’s LATAM, which recently left the oneworld alliance that Qatar Airways is a part of.
Through the darkest days of the aviation crisis, Qatar Airways never stopped connecting a network of essential destinations worldwide. Now that things are slowly improving, the airline has been reactivating its network. It is also turning its eyes to codeshare agreements, having recently signed a new deal with China Southern, and expanding its agreement with Oman Air.
53 Airbus A350s
Everybody knows that Emirates is the largest operator of the Airbus A380. However, did you know that while only having ten A380s, neighboring Qatar Airways has the world’s largest Airbus A350 fleet?
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Qatar Airways was the launch customer for both the Airbus A350-900 and Airbus A350-1000. It seems as though December 31st was a good day for Airbus as it sought to dispatch aircraft before the new year started. JetBlue, for example, took delivery of its first Airbus A220-300. Meanwhile, Qatar Airways took delivery of its 53rd Airbus A350. With an average age of 2.7, the airline now flies 34 -900s alongside 19 -1000s.
Increasing its LATAM codeshare agreement
Alongside the 53rd A350 delivery announced yesterday, Qatar Airways today revealed that it had upped its South American connectivity with the launch of an increased codeshare agreement with partner LATAM. Qatar Airways owns a 10% stake in the South American carrier. Just under a year, ago the airline’s CEO said it would be interested in doubling this stake.
The increased codeshare agreement comes around seven months after LATAM left the oneworld alliance. Interestingly, Qatar Airways will launch a new Seattle route later this month. This comes ahead of Alaska Airlines joining the oneworld alliance later this year. Qatar and Alaska Airlines have also signed a codeshare agreement in recent months.
According to Qatar Airways, LATAM will be adding its code to Qatar Airways flights from Sao Paulo and a handful of destinations beyond Doha, subject to regulatory approval. In the other directions, Qatar Airways’ code will be placed on 45 more of LATAM’s flights from Brazil to destinations such as Rio de Janeiro and Porto Alegre.
Commenting on the expanded codeshare agreement, Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar Al Baker said,
“South America is a strategically important market for Qatar Airways… Since 2016, both Qatar Airways and LATAM Airlines Brasil have witnessed the significant mutual benefits commercial cooperation have brought, providing our passengers with unrivalled service and seamless connectivity and it is why our codeshare cooperation has been expanded twice in recent years.”
What do you make of Qatar Airways’ expanded codeshare agreement with LATAM? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!