After cutting ties with its previous partner Emirates, Alaska Airlines has formally applied to the US Transportation Department (DOT) to commence a codeshare partnership with Qatar Airways. This partnership will open up new markets for travellers flying to the United States from the Gulf state.
Through the partnership between the two oneworld alliance partners, Alaska Airlines will cover over 160 routes in its domestic and international network. Some of the routes are operated on regional aircrafts operated by Horizon Air and SkyWest fly on behalf of Alaska Airlines.
The codeshare application comes no more than three months since Alaska Airlines joined oneworld and only a few days after the airlines confirmed that its decade-long partnership Emirates would come to an end on July 31.
At the time of the Emirates announcement, Alaska Airlines confirmed that passengers could instead travel on Qatar Airways with mileage earnings and redemptions.
In its request to the DOT, Seattle-based Alaska Airlines said the plans were in the public interest as the partnership would provide additional travel options between Qatar, the US and third countries.
“The codeshare services proposed in this application will also enhance the joint applicants’ and Qatar Airways’ ability to compete in these markets,” the application added.
The proposed codeshare will cover an initial 166 routes operated by Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air and SkyWest Airlines to domestic regions in the United States, as well as to international destinations in Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica and Belize.
Qatar Airways presently operates flights to 12 cities in the US, including Alaska Airlines’ West Coast hubs of Seattle (SEA), Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO). The route between Doha (DOH) and Seattle (SEA), operated using the Boeing 777-200LR aircraft, launched in late January and flies five times a week.
At Routes Reconnected in December 2020, Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden said the carrier’s entry to oneworld was necessary to provide customers with access to the kind of network scale that matches competitors’ offerings in major markets such as SEA and LAX.
Tilden mentioned that while the carrier flies to 100 cities out of SEA, for example, “we don’t fly widebodies at all.” With entrance into oneworld, “we can go into the biggest corporate accounts in Seattle, a Microsoft, and offer them access to a global network.”