Alaska Airlines And Qatar Airways File For US Codeshares

The newest member of the oneworld alliance, Alaska Airlines, and Qatar Airways have filed with the US Department of Transportation (DOT) to codeshare on US routes. If granted by the DOT, this codeshare will see Qatar Airways place its QR designator code on many of Alaska’s flights.

Qatar A350
Qatar Airways and Alaska Airlines have filed to allow Qatar to place its code on Alaska Airlines flights. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Alaska and Qatar file for US codeshares

Qatar Airways wants to place its QR designator code on Alaska Airlines routes primarily out of Seattle, Los Angeles, Portland, and San Francisco. The initial codeshares include a variety of routes stretching to Mexico, intra-California routes, and transcontinental flights. Some of the routes are operated on regional jets that Horizon Air and SkyWest fly on behalf of Alaska Airlines.

The full map of routes Alaska and Qatar want to codeshare on out of Seattle is below:

Seattle Codeshare
It is clear that the codeshare out of Seattle is so wide-ranging that passengers will have hundreds of connecting opportunities. Rendering created at Great Circle Mapper.

Out of Portland, there are fewer routes that Qatar Airways wants to codeshare on with Alaska Airlines, though still a significant list:

PDX COdeshare
There are fewer codeshare routes planned out of PDX. Rendering created at Great Circle Mapper.

San Francisco, a new market for Qatar Airways, will get the following codeshare routes:

SFO
San Francisco is a relatively smaller hub for Alaska Airlines, but passengers will be able to connect to a host of destinations near and far. Rendering created at Great Circle Mapper.

Los Angeles, one of Qatar Airways’ most important cities, will also see extensive codesharing:

The LAX codeshare will help Qatar Airways gain additional reach into Central America. Rendering created at Great Circle Mapper.

Lastly, there are also some other routes not touching one of those four airports that the airlines have also applied to codeshare on:

The remaining codeshare routes. Rendering created at Great Circle Mapper.

Big in Seattle, Los Angeles, and San Francisco

Seattle, Los Angeles, and San Francisco will see the most routes operated by Alaska Airlines with the QR code placed on them, assuming the DOT grants their petition. In addition, these three cities all see nonstop service to Doha, which is Qatar Airways’ main hub in Qatar.

By placing the QR code on these routes, Qatar Airways will be able to market more routes into the United States. This means more options for passengers looking to go to destinations that Qatar Airways does not serve, like smaller points in the Western United States, Hawaii, or Latin America.

Alaska Boeing 737-900
The codeshares play into Alaska’s stronger markets that can provide feed to Qatar Airways. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Alaska Airlines is the largest airline in Seattle, so it makes sense that the two airlines are targeting the most codeshares out of that major airport.

These codeshares do not cover all of Alaska’s routes out of each city. For now, Qatar Airways is likely not seeing demand that is worth adding more codeshares. However, these initial codeshares can always be expanded upon as Qatar Airways grows its presence in the United States.

Committing to the oneworld alliance

Alaska Airlines joined the oneworld alliance as of March 31st, 2021. Qatar Airways is also a member of that alliance. In fact, just before Alaska officially became a full oneworld member, Qatar Airways launched its own flights between Seattle and Doha to prepare for the connecting traffic it can target with the Alaska Airlines partnership. Qatar Airways also added flights to San Francisco during the crisis.

Alaska Airlines is showing that it is very committed to the alliance. With a close partnership with American Airlines, the airline is focused on growing its West Coast presence while providing some feed to its partners’ flights to far-flung international destinations.

Qatar Airwa
Supporting Alaska’s entry into the alliance, Qatar Airways launched new services to Seattle and has grown across the US in recent months. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

In addition, Alaska Airlines has also announced its partnership with Emirates will end as of July 31st. It also filed with the DOT that its codeshare with the Dubai-based airline will end on August 1st. This is not surprising, given that Emirates and Qatar Airways are Middle Eastern rivals.

Alliance partners generally do codeshare on a wide array of routes. This allows Qatar Airways, for example, to be able to sell a nonstop itinerary for travelers seeking to go from a city the airline does not fly to, like Portland or Austin, and funnel them on a two-stop itinerary to points in India, Africa, and more. And, for passengers based abroad, Qatar Airways also can sell flights to beach destinations in Hawaii and Mexico that also do not see service from Qatar Airways.

Alaska
The codeshare will be a huge win for Alaska customers looking for itineraries to go abroad. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

It is not unusual for alliance members to prefer to codeshare or partner with an alliance member. For example, American Airlines, a oneworld member, has a powerful partnership with British Airways, a fellow oneworld member. In addition, Delta Air Lines, a SkyTeam member, has a strong partnership with Air France-KLM, both SkyTeam members. To round out this example, United Airlines also has a partnership in place with Air Canada, and both are Star Alliance members.

The move for codeshares between Alaska and Qatar Airways was expected. However, expect the two airlines to continue to deepen their partnership now that Alaska Airlines is part of the oneworld alliance.

Are you glad to see Alaska and Qatar Airways file to codeshare in the US? Will the codeshare benefit you? Let us know in the comments!


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